Thursday, June 5, 2014

It's June

It's June.  Sunrises and sunsets come later, and that's good because everyone is sleeping in - except the elders. Many veterans operate on a body clock set to 5 a.m.  They rise, because it's time, because the sun never sleeps in, because you're burnin' daylight, child, get up and do something!  

It's summer and we teachers and parents worry what our kids will get into with all their time off.  Will they fry their brains with too many video games?  Will they forget everything they learned in school?  

"Idle hands are the devil's plaything," you know. But the elders welcome free time more than ice cream.  They are happy to sit and watch the storm clouds roll in, although they smelled it yesterday.  Their senses are better than ours.  The internet didn't exist in their time, so they had to learn to get their information from their surroundings and their souls.

In June there is Father's Day and the anniversary of the death of the only man who showed what fatherhood should look like.  PaPa taught me to tie my shoes, to finish my plate, to read big words and analyze physical ailments (he was a physician's assistant).  He taught me how to really listen to piano chords, guitar strains, wind howling in trees, and the shrill voices of old ladies in the church choir past their singing days.  He called me "sweet thing." Whatever I needed he made a way to give me, but he never saved me from hard work. 

He told me to keep writing and he collected my poems and stories like any good parent, but he also made me pursue a "real job."  I could almost draw his look of relief when I said "teacher." Whew! Thank God, you'll never be out of work.

He "graduated" to heaven two years ago on the 24th and every single day I can't imagine who I would be if he hadn't earned every single one of his "grades": 
A for affection
A for provision
A for stick-to-it-tive-ness 
A for practicality
A for encouragement
A for advice
B for self-preservation

No one will reflect on their life and say, "I wouldn't know anything without Facebook." But, we remember forever the smiles, the rules, the hugs, the spankings, the example of the people who raised us. I've decided if I become more and more like my elders I will have done the world a service.

Well done, PaPa. I'll see you when I get there. 

It's a movement!

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