Monday, November 24, 2014

For Papa, on his would-be 65th birthday

What I wouldn't give to stand 
with you in the kitchen one more
Saturday morning
measuring Bisquick for coffee cake
kneading double the brown sugar, cinnamon 
and butter in a small metal bowl
Coffee percolating, clucking as a liquid hen
late to greet the morning

How I miss those hands
caramelly and strong with pillowed
green veins
like rivers pulsing beneath your skin
Your beard gradually taken over by 
dappled gray and white
The rich fullness of your belly laugh

You'd be humming a tune
from the era of Bill Gaither and the gospel singers
a faint smile tugging the corners of your mouth
one foot in your own world and one
planted here in this moment
Saying little
listening with your eyes
And we'd lean into contentment

And I'd wish for more time to know
you, the real you
if you'd let me in
through the bars on your windows
so I'd have memories of you in years
to come 
0f more than coffee cake and quiet times,
little girl recollections and grown girl
sorrow-tinged shadows

Though I'd take this now, even so
for one more Saturday with you

*An early birthday reflection, in honor of my beloved dad, who was born on December 1st and has been gone from us for six years.

Linking up with my beautiful community of friends at Unforced Rhythms


  1. It feels a little invasive to comment on your love letter to your Papa. What a blessing of holiness that you have allowed me to see such a private memory - and memorial - to a man who shaped your life and your heart. Even in these words, I see how you are growing into him... another who lives with her feet in two worlds and listens with her eyes. And I see it just as beautiful in you as you do in him. May he feel extra close to you this week, friend.

    1. It touched my heart that you saw this, saw him, in me. Thank you, friend.

  2. I've been thinking so much about Papa and all he meant in our lives. I'm constantly reminded of his 65th birthday because of all the mail that comes. How wonderful it would be to have one more snippet of time with our precious boy. Beautifully written Amber.

    1. He's been on the heart and mind a lot for both of us lately, I think. I'm thankful we got to spend even a few moments over our coffee cake breakfast this weekend, as a family, enjoying this tradition and reminiscing a little. Love you.

  3. Beautiful, Amber. I'm so glad you could write this out.

    1. It feels like a tiny release, a tiny tribute, to write these things out. To share even a little bit of the bittersweet of my memories, too. Thank you, friend.

  4. This is lovely, Amber. Losing your Papa so early - I grieve for this too for you. Thinking of you and praying for you during this time of grieving at this Christmas Season.

    1. Your sharing in my grief is a gift, Carol, that humbles me. You have your own griefs, and I feel those in my heart, too, when I read your words. Grateful we can be that for each other.

  5. Oh, my friend... seeing this today - so appropriate. Holding you before Him today, Amber. So much love.

    1. Felt them, Dana... loving you right back. xoxo