For My Dad – A Poem

This is the poem I read at my dad’s memorial service. Things came to me in little bits right after his passing and this is what I wrote. I thought I would be able to read this as opposed to a longer story. I was wrong. I cried after the first word and then continued with tears and long pauses. Anyway, I think my dad would have liked it.

For My Dad

Mossbeam you called me
Moss for Amos
Even though my name is Amy
Beam for the gymnast’s balance beam
My eyes beamed when you called me that

Euclida, my other name
For Euclid’s cousin it must have been
Shaking your head at me
when you helped with me maths
We laughed, I beamed hopeless eyes

Your first year of school
You said not a word
“I watched from a bench,”
you told me,
“Alone, and observed.”

Later, you are the master of words
and numbers both
Forever patient with your students
Teaching them to write the perfect sentence
A gift beyond measure

This one’s called “Take Five” you said
Snapping your fingers, tapping your toes
Brubeck, Miles and Count Basie, you’d sing
“It don’t mean a thing if you
ain’t got that swing”

Jelly beans, Whoopers,
Saturday Night Fever, too
Anything peach
You could whistle
any tune

Salami and cheese
always pleased
Silky Sullivan, your favorite horse
a crowd pleaser,
a winner coming from behind

Pool parties, keep away
and basketball
Trips to Corona Del Mar Beach
Roasting marshmallows
until after dark

I thought everyone did that
as a kid
I was wrong, I was lucky
To have you
as a my Dad

You taught me to accept
and to not judge
I thought everybody did that, too
You always lifted up the people
around you

You lifted me up
A boyish grin upon your face
A crafted pun up your sleeve
Even when us kids fought
You commented, “Look at how these good Christians love one another”

It may have been time for you to go
But not for me
I wanted another talk over a puzzle piece
One more laugh over a strawberry smoothie
It’s not to be

A thinker, a dreamer
Wherever you are
I know you are
shining bright
as a star

With love in your heart
a smile dancing
on your face
that twinkle in your eye
I will miss you, Dad

Advertisements

90 thoughts on “For My Dad – A Poem

  1. I think this is a great poem to have read for your Dad. I know I didn’t read anything at my mothers service. I did though write a letter which I left with her the night before her funeral. I took some photos of it but 2 years on I’m not ready to publicise it just yet 😦

    Thinking of you Amy.

    Like

    1. Thanks, Stephen. I guess I wanted to do it for my dad. I’m sure he would have understood no matter what I did. I’ve written a few letters too since he died. I probably wouldn’t share them here. Some things are better left between two people. Thanks. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sure sounds like it. I know it sounds cliche’, but just like the stories you write, life too, has a beginning, a middle, and an end. It’s the same for all of us. And you’re right – focus on your wonderful memories you have and be thankful for his life. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. It’s not cliche’ at all, Kelly. It’s just the truth. All life ends one day. No one lives forever. but it’s still so hard to accept. Thanks…yes, the good memories! That will get me through.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Honestly, I received so much support and strength from my blogging buddies. It’s just words, but you know everyone here knows that they can come from a deep place and they understand. So, when the time comes, I do hope you will share. I recommend it. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Your poem is a lovely tribute to your Dad, Amy. I feel honoured that you shared it with us. It gave me the opportunity get to know your Dad a wee bit and to understand the closeness between you. Hugs to you. Take care of yourself.

    Like

    1. Thank you, Michelle. Here are the first thoughts that came to me about my dad that I could form into a poem. It is my pleasure to share it with you. Hugs to you. I’ve been thinking of you and hope you’re okay. How are you doing? xo

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks, Amy. My sister’s funeral is finally on
        Wednesday. It will be a long day but I will be regrouping after that. I’ve been swamped with work from my biggest client that will end come May and then nothing until September from them. I’ve also been nursing a broken toe so in short I’m…as usual…a hot mess. Will I ever catch up on reading my favourite blogs?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. The blogs aren’t going anywhere, so don’t worry about that. I’m so sorry, Michelle. If there’s anything at all I can do, please let me know. I’m sorry about your toe. That doesn’t help anything. Bad toe. As people tell me, take time out to care for yourself, too. Hugs to you!!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. You painted many lovely pictures of your father with your heartfelt verse, Amy. The stanza that resonated most with me was this one:

    I thought everyone did that
    as a kid
    I was wrong, I was lucky
    To have you
    as a my Dad

    When I was a kid, I thought everyone had parents like mine. I sure thought wrong there and I realized that I was lucky. I’m glad that you also had such a kind and loving dad.

    Like

  4. I love this tribute! Especially this part:

    I thought everyone did that
    as a kid
    I was wrong, I was lucky
    To have you
    as a my Dad

    What a blessing to have had such a wonderful spirit in your life…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This is so beautiful, Amy. I feel like I know your Dad well from your verse of honor. This is the sort of tribute that only the best of parents can get at their service, from the best of children. Your Dad you to think and write well, my friend Amy. I cannot imagine there was a dry eye with you that day.

    Thank you for honoring us all with sharing this poem here today. I send my condolences, still, as you feel better little my little and return to everyday life but no doubt miss him every day.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, you’re so sweet, Mark. I didn’t even look up when I read this, Mark, so I really don’t can’t say how people responded. There were lots of tears that day. That much I know. It’s my pleasure to share it. Every day is a little different, some okay, some not. I definitely miss him everyday. Thanks so much for your comments. They mean a lot to me.

      Like

      1. Hang in there, Amy. My mom went in June, my dad in December, of 2004 both, with heart attacks at the ages of 65 and 66. Shocker for my siblings and I. We got through it day by day, then month by month, and now here we are.

        Like

      2. Oh, Mark. I’m so sorry. That must have been terribly hard to lose them both during the same year. I am grateful I still have my mother and cherish every moment now. My dad, I think I said it…died of a heart attack as well and I didn’t get to say goodbye. I always envisioned that he would die of heart attack, but I thought he would be in the hospital and that I could say goodbye to him. I guess we don’t have anything to say about how someone will leave us. It is out of our control. It’s so hard when one day they are there and the next, gone. Such a huge shock. I can see that’s what it will take…a day by day recovery. Thank you for sharing and for being here for me.

        Like

  6. Thank you for sharing your father with us. As the Mark just above me says … I feel honored to have read this. The things you share about him paint a picture with words that is completely filled in with the goodness that was him. And that’s a good thing for you to hold on to and to share with others.

    Like

    1. How wonderful that you feel honored. I’m just happy for people to read it. It is a dear thing to hold on to and share with you and others. That’s such a nice sentiment you share – “a picture with words that is completely filled in with the goodness that was him.” Oh, that makes ms smile. Thank you, Mark.

      Like

  7. That was a truly beautiful and heartfelt poem, Amy. Brought tears to my eyes as next month it will be the second anniversary of my dad’s passing… Writing about our losses really helps (I know it did me, for both my dad and my husband) and the blogging community really rallied around me and sent me love… As we are doing for you now! xoxo

    Like

    1. Thank you, Dale. Oh, the tears just come, don’t they? It has helped me tremendously to share here, to not feel so alone and that so many share in this experience of deep loss. It has helped me tremendously when people, like you, have reached out with kindness and an open heart. Again, if there’s anything I can do for you, please holler. Thanks for being here for me. xoxo

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Hi Amy. I’m so glad you posted your poem for Dad. Of course, I was there when you read it, and it was such a wonderful tribute to him, so true and beautifully written. If he was able to hear it, I am sure he was so proud of you, as I was. Thinking of you a lot these days.

    Like

  9. Amy,
    It’s not hard to imagine someone crying over these words—the many references. What he did, what he meant to you, and how rare he was, brightening the day however he could… It is very touching. You are blessed with your ability to write this, though it must have really tugged on the heart. It makes me even more sure that he’s darn proud. …Okay, so he was part of how you learned to write. But I guess with that he’s with you always, writing this, writing here, which makes these words so true and heartfelt. A wonderful tribute.
    Adam

    Like

    1. Oh, Adam, thank you so much. Thanks for these wonderful words for me. My father was a giving and accepting human being. To honor him, I want to be a better person. Death has a way of forcing me to view life through a new set of lenses. I’m hoping he heard these words somehow and hope that he’s proud of me. He was an English professor, but mostly we did math together. 🙂 He loved words, too, something passed on to me. Thanks so much for being here, Adam, and offering such kind remarks. I’m so touched.

      Like

    1. Thank you, Mark. I have days that feel okay and others when I feel quite sad. I don’t know how I’ll feel one day from the next. My community here has really helped me so much. My dad was wasn’t perfect and no one is. We are all flawed. His death has made me look at my own life, too. Each day is a new opportunity to make mindful choices to make each day count, for my kids and for others in my life. I try to do better, too. Because one day it is over…I like this quote – If it doesn’t nourish your soul, get rid of it.

      Like

  10. That was beautiful, Amy. I could see him through your words. Especially remembering that mischievous twinkle always dancing in the corner of his eye.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Beautiful poem, Amy. You really captured his essence; i could see him through your words–especially remembering that mischievous twinkle always dancing in the corner of his eye. Hang in there. Grief is a long process but you have to face it to get through it. Poetry is a great way to honor the pain and fierce joy that process evokes.

    Like

    1. Thanks, histrionika, for your lovely words and comments. Grief is a process, I agree. And then there’s the realization this person is no longer there. That is truly painful. I must keep writing poems. 🙂

      Like

      1. Oh, yes! There’s enough corn for everyone, Dale. Please join us. I guess in some ways, it’s a good thing we always remember even though it is painful. It keeps the spirit of our loved ones alive in our hearts. Hugs to you.

        Liked by 1 person

  12. This one got me teary eyed, Amy. Here’s one I wrote about seeing my Dad in a dream. He died 5 days after his 95th birthday.
    THE VISIT

    I hadn’t thought about you for a while
    Until I saw you again last night
    You were so young and active
    And we had such a wonderful time
    We did all the things we used to enjoy,
    And even some that I’d forgotten
    We smiled, and laughed, and carried on
    Like there was no tomorrow

    Your hair was dark, your wit was keen
    With that ever present sense of humor
    It took me back to days gone by
    Like a long and distant summer
    I can’t remember what we talked about
    It was really not important
    I was just glad we were together
    To share a few precious moments

    Much too soon we had to part
    I found myself fading out and in
    Of that halfway land between awake and slumber
    Only to realize it was just a dream
    But that doesn’t diminish the joy I felt,
    And I know you must have felt it too.
    I love you Dad. I miss you Dad.
    Come and visit again…real soon

    Like

    1. What a beautiful poem, Russell. I wonder if everyone is a younger version of themselves when they die, when they felt most alive maybe or happy. That’s the way I would think to see my dad…no dreams yet. How wonderful that your dad lived such a long life. That’s amazing. This too was moving – I can’t remember what we talked about/It was really not important – because in the end it’s just spending that time together. It doesn’t matter where or how. I hope he still visits you in your dreams. I believe that loved ones do come to us in dreams. Call me crazy! I think it’s as real as anything. Thanks you for sharing this with me.

      Like

  13. So sweet Amy… thank you for sharing it with us. I am so sorry for your loss. The days ahead will be difficult but not for long. They will soften into the sweetness of the special memories you had with your dad… looks like they may have already started 🙂

    Like

Take it away.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s