Monday, August 8, 2011

2nd Post Today, August 8th.

Daddy - to Mary Ann and me -  Frank or Mr. Wilkerson - to all others - 
died on this day in 1993.
August 8.
I still miss him.  I know Mary Ann does, too.
We miss Mother and Daddy, both.

But not in a morbid or unhealthy way.  A happy way, actually.

I've always wish we'd (Mom, Mary Ann and I) handled his disease better.
We gave it our best shot.

Our goal was to make him feel as safe and comfortable as possible.
Always our goal, but then one looks back and second guesses things.

He had Alzheimer's Disease.

We were on unknown territory, for us, and for most of the world.

But he's been in eternity for 18 years now.

He would be 98.  People live to be 98 and more.  The rest of Daddy's body was very healthy.
Good genes.  Good heart.  Good mind,  until the Alzheimer's ravaged it.

Earliest memories of daddy.

He and  I sitting on the floor with the soles of our feet touching, spread legs, and rolling a red, white, and blue rubber ball back and forth.  I LOVED that game.  I remember I could tell he was doing it for me and that he didn't love that game as much as I did.  He didn't intend for me to know that but I could tell.  He always had a smile on his face, still I knew.  I guess his duration wasn't as long as mine.  I had to have been so young.  3 maybe? 

Other memory.  Daddy coming home from work and Mary Ann and I rushing into his arms as he came in the side/back door - His arms opened wide and he's kneeling down to take us both in.  Our excitement and squeals.  I remember that.  I know he loved that.  Who doesn't love that?  

Daddy throwing Mary Ann and me on the bed and saying a phrase as he did it.  It's such a nonsense phrase and I have no idea how it got started, but we loved it and giggled so much over it.  He would say, "Whole Tatum!" and he'd stretch out the "o" really long in the word, whole.  He'd say that as he threw each of us on the bed.  Of course he could only do us one at a time, so the one waiting would be shouting, "Do me! Do me!" and he'd laugh and say, "Okay, come on, Do Me."  He'd call us "do me".  

Oh gosh.  I remember those endless glasses of water we asked for at night or in the middle of the night.  I can see Daddy sleepily coming in the room with that tiny glass and I'd take a small sip and be done.  Of course every parent knows it's a tactic - that the child probably isn't very thirsty - just needing some contact.  Daddy knew it - but he came anyway with that small glass of water.  He always looked so sleepy.

I can still feel the way Daddy held me when I was very small - on his side the way a man holds a child, usually, with one strong arm, and just grasping the legs with the other hand.  My arm around his neck.  One particular night I ran to get in his arms when he was going outside to check and listen to see if he could tell the direction of a fire engine we heard.  I thought I would be safer if I was in his arms.  He stood and held me and we listened - and I said I hoped it wasn't coming to our house.  (I've told this on here before) That's when he gave me the wonderful information - that fire trucks don't set houses on fire, they put them out.  Boy had I been mixed up about that!  So glad to know.

Of course there's the fun way to be carried - on the shoulders.  We definitely did that .

And the driving - he'd let me sit in his lap when we got on our "slow" street - and I thought I was steering.  His hands were on the lower part of the steering wheel.

And there were our older child years and our teen years.

And college.  And being single.  And married with children.

He was always there.  

I'm so glad for all the people I will see again.
I'm so glad for redemption and eternity,
for grace and mercy,
for sanctification,
for Christ in me,
the hope of glory.
Grateful and glad and so much hope.
I wish God would use me to tell everyone.
I don't seem to communicate it very well with words.
I'm glad it's His Spirit telling and communicating and doing and using His redeemed ones the way He wants to and chooses to.


Mary Ann said...

Really good. You ssid it all perfectly.

Mary Ann said...

I mean "said" it all perfectly.

Robyn Story said...

Thanks for posting our Everything Annie Sloan giveaway button on your sidebar! I hope all your friends and followers come on over to check it out!!! This paint is awesome, I wish I could share it with everyone!

atfarrar said...

Elizabeth, Off the subject, but have you seen or read "The Help"?
Just wondering your thoughts...
A. Farrar