Monday, August 1, 2011

a simple request...

a simple request. cold milk. peaches. it was the last two things i heard my dad ask for. cold milk. peaches. on his death bed, in his last days, that's what he asked for. not on the same day. on different days, close between, during his last week of life. not i wish i'd scaled the himalayas. not i'm so sad i never went to maui. not i wish i wish i'd made more money or gone more places or had more stuff. nada. just cold milk. peaches.

i bought peaches a few days ago. couldn't pass them up on my trip to the market. they called me as i walked by. PEACHES. bought cold milk that day too. bought the stuff that dad asked for during his last 4 days or so. not without hardly a thought though. just bought them. i guess i could say that's "peaches and milk" in itself, no? being able to just do that?

as i've made my way through the "stages of grief" over the past year, cold milk and peaches reverberated through my mind. not the actual peach or the glass of milk, but the simple request. the "simple" of it. because through my dad i learned that that's what it all boils down to...the simple things.

the fan blowing my hair around as i write tonight, the feel of the cool air about me. looking over and seeing my husband snoozing on the sofa, the overwhelming love i have for him. an email exchange with friends today, the lifelong kind, that had me in stitches at my desk (sorry eliz, yes, between writing newsletter text i was planning that camping trip that you're going to cover for me for at the library), getting in my silly little car and laughing my ass off at how happy i am for this little new to me dream. listening to my xm station (it came with the little car) music from the 1940's which is the music of my life, coming home, watering flowers, petting the cat, reading a good book. peaches and milk, that's what it is, my life...the day to day - peaches and milk.

from here on, when life is the total shit (which thanks be to god, my life pretty much is) i'm just going to say "peaches and milk!" awesome, wow, holy crap, this is the shiznitz begone, it's now "peaches and milk!!" in memory of my dad. and how that's who he was, a man of simple pleasures, a man of family, a calm and gentle man if ever there was one.

peaches and, that's what you were. you were the sun and the moon and everything strong and safe to me. i can't believe...i cry at the cold reality that it's been a whole big wide year since i've seen you. but i guess that's not entirely true, as i've seen you in the forest preserve when i go for my morning walk. i see you in ella's face when she says "i miss my pop pop." i see you in my sister's eyes for oh, how she so looks like you. i see you in the night sky, ever more so this summer as the crickets and cicadas sing their zizzy little songs of love. i see you, i feel your love wrap around me in the twist of the summer breeze.

a year. 365 days to say "this is the first" this or that without you here. but you have been, here. and those words, probably your best lesson taught yet - peaches...cold milk. the simple stuff. a summer night. my son upstairs safe and sound. my stephanie, healthy...vital, celebrating her 13th wedding anniversary this night. my lindsey, calling me to ask if she can order me a few good bottles of wine....everything i'll ever need is as simple as peaches and milk - it's all right here beside me. my family. just like my dad, it's all i need...not the fancy stuff, just this.

been away from this writing place for a long time,

but all the same,

wishing you

peaches, lots of fresh sweet summer peaches

and a tall glass of icy cold milk...


p.s. thanks to katie for the nudge. i'm not a fancy writer, but i do so love the craft.

photo: my daddy with ella. he never said so, but i just know she was his favorite:)

1 comment:

  1. thanks for this, a bit of refreshing simplicity...and you're welcome ;)