1/29/20: Mom and Dad Dropped by Tonight
not like mourning
grateful that I’m not alone
loved by Paula right beside me
grateful that my folks went home
they ran their race
they did it well
and loved me so when I was young
and not so young
and even old
I never felt myself undeserving
as many sad people often do
I always felt that people could love me
secure that someone cared
Far from perfect
with loads of baggage
and changed with the times
where would love be without imperfection
where would it be without the struggle to understand
where would love be if it were just damn easy
that’s where love would be.
I always had a place where I could be an asshole
I always had a place where I could heal from my follies
and the blows that came from unloving parts of the world.
They never fully “got” me
my essence was beyond who they were
but that didn’t matter
they always loved me
I was their son
I was their world.
They nursed me back a thousand times
coaxed out my sweetness when it was blocked
Warmth and kindness and generosity are my inheritance
and a fierce commitment to be myself
all they ever wanted from me was me.
They never knew what I was
but they always knew who
and they reminded me of that in my darkest hours.
Their sins against me were all in my mind
they did me wrong a few times
but not on purpose
no one knows everything
people have blind spots
people make mistakes.
They taught me the difference between naivete and malice
It’s not what people say
it’s what’s underneath the words
and every word they ever said to me
translated into “I love you.”
Children live on one-way streets
two directions come with time.
Parents have to die
so the once young can take their turn caring for the young.
I didn’t give up youth without a struggle
and now I am so happy that it is gone.
The childish things have been put away
and I am calm.
I live my life
all its details
and go for days without thinking about my parents
and every once in awhile
when nothing in particular reminds me
that they are gone
and I smile
“The 64 year old orphan”
a joke I tell myself
I’m not sad
I don’t feel loss
all of that is over
I don’t need them anymore
in the flesh
their years of hugs and encouragement and concern
are part of me now
embedded in my very cells
I have no children
the world is my legacy
when I die the part of me that will remain
reverberating in people known and unknown
is the part of me that is my parents
what comes and goes
and who remains.
I don’t need to see their bodies anymore
but what makes me think of them?
Why do they move me tonight?
without a picture
to bring them back to me?
I think they drop by
and drop something warm into my chest
and make me feel grateful
to them, sure
but really just in general.
They taught me
eternal well being.
Copyright 2020 Richard Thomas