Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Dad’s List

When I was young,
my dad would talk about retiring,
how he wanted to sit on the front porch
and watch the cars the drive by.
I thought that wasn’t much of a goal,
and a waste of time.
As I reflect on what dad said,
I don’t think he could have
just sat, and watched.
He always had a list,
made new everyday,
of all the things he had to fix.
It was categorized in A, B, C importance.
Then numbered in 1, 2, 3 order.
Anything he didn’t finish
got moved to the next day’s list.
He was a doer, not a sitter.
When he had spare time,
he would go for a walk.
He kept himself busy,
usually with the list
that included more than just his things to fix.
He helped his kids,
his neighbors, and friends.
He helped until he couldn’t see and couldn’t stand.
He refinished, reupholstered,
framed, carved, rewired,
sanded, stained, etched, drew
plans again for something new.
He fixed the old and falling apart.
He built new, like a piece of art.
No, I don’t think my dad would have ever just sat.
I think that list was where he was at.

by:  Paula D. Nevison

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Jack Mosher Plantin

There were many ways he shared all the gifts he knew
He was always a giver, a father figure,
Project man, loved to work with his hands
Church goer and prayer, smile maker
Wood worker, coffee drinker
Daily walker, dish washer
He was gentle and kind, never did mind
Generous in every way – tried to be every day
Believed in all big or small
Kind and true he will always love you!
by:  Jennifer Stenberg

My sister wrote this poem about our dad. I think she did a great job describing him. He was 75 when he died on October 12, 2016. So, she wrote a 75 word poem. She was nice enough to give me permission to share it on my blog. Thank you Jennifer. She was also assigned the task by dad to write his obituary, which can be found here http://www.glendenilson.com/obituary/Jack-Plantin/Clitherall-MN/1661922

Thursday, October 13, 2016

My Dog and My Dad

Buried my dog, Lady, yesterday.
She had bone cancer,
ate up her back hip,
part of her spine,
and blocked her colon.
Had to put her down
before she became septic.

My dad has bone cancer
all over his body and in his brain.
Metastasized is what they said.
He lost a lot of weight
and can’t stand.
I flew to visit him.
He was in bed,
skin over bones,
big smile though.

He was wearing a prayer shawl (scarf)
around his neck,
knitted by old ladies at his church,
like I knit with at my church.
Dad was very pleased with his scarf.
He told me how they were praying for him,
and that he knew the lady that knitted it.
All of a sudden, the knitting I’d been doing
for random people I don’t know
became personal.

We reminisced.
He told old stories.
Then asked, and said
he was trying to figure out
when he would see me again,
Are you coming to the funeral?”
Then he remembered
it’s irrelevant.

It was hard to leave.
My sister, her husband, and son
were with.
They drove.
She lives there.
She’s cried her tears.
I tried to hold mine back
while I walked away
realizing that was the last time
I’d see my dad.

I couldn’t talk.
We drove in silence for a while.
We stopped for burgers.
Mine had peanut butter
(dad liked peanut butter)
and spicy jam.
We had chips and fries.
My sister was good,
she had a salad.
Not me,
I drank Dos Equis.

We did some last minute shopping,
gifts from Minnesota for my kids.
Argued about old times,
she called her mom,
which proved her wrong,
and proved that I was right.
We looked at old pictures.
Her husband cooked us breakfast
to which her mom joined us.
They were nice to visit with,
a gracious host and hostess.

Yesterday, I got a text,
dad had stopped eating.
So as I brought Lady to the vet,
my mind and thoughts were on my dad
dying of bone cancer in his bed.
I cried for the dog.
It was very sad.
But my heart was in Minnesota
crying for dad.
The dog was my son’s.
We cried together
while we watched her die.

Brought Lady home in a box.
Help came to dig the hole,
his sister’s boyfriend,
who brought a shovel.
The two men worked together
in our southern, still hot, autumn sun.
Broke a shovel. Laughed a little.
I took photos
for his dad and other sister
who couldn’t be there.
And the day went on like normal.

Got a text in the evening,
the priest had come to see dad.
My sister was able to be there too.
This morning, I got the news,
Dad passed away last night
between 10:20 and 10:50.”
He was ready to go.
I’m looking through old photos.

I did my crying yesterday.
I walked for dad when I got back.
I baked his favorite cake.
I checked out a book from the library that he read,
Dying Wishes, a Haunted Yarn Shop Mystery”
I’m a knitter.
Now it’s time to read.

by:  Paula D. Nevison