Monday, March 31, 2014

To Mamaw and Papaw, from Punky

I haven't seen your faces in so long, but I still hear your laughter and see your smiles.
You have no idea how much I miss you.

You're going to be great grandparents in a few months and I can't help but wish
you were here to see it. You left us when I was too young. My baby will only ever 
know a name and a face. I wish he or she could hear your stories and learn your lessons.

Come to think of it, you've never even met my amazing husband. You would both love him.
He is so very sweet to me. And Papaw, you especially would get along great with him,
he actually adopted a few of the things you left behind because he has similar hobbies. 
Though he never got to shake your hand, he respects you so much through my memories, 
and I continue to remember you always.

I love and miss you both, I must go for now so he can treat me to a Saturday out.
Love, Punky.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

To Kevin, From Shawn

~This image is based on the character of Death in Neil Gaiman's 'Sandman' comics.  In them she is a young goth girl, not the Grim Reaper.  She isn't the vengeful or hideous idea, more of a guide. Created in memory of Kevin.~  


If I forget about you then you would not exist.
I am the one who held you here as you prepared to leave.
I am the last one to see the man that you could be,
the last one standing against the rushing waters
and trying in vain to hold them at bay.
If I don’t tell your stories, they will die unknown.
I am the one who listened to you breathe at night,
I was right there and heard you whisper his name,
heard you talking to him from the depths of sleep;
and I, too, wished to hear his voice again.
If I don’t recall the touch of your hand,
then you never built this heart.
If I don’t remember your shape of your face,
then never did the sun shine.
I can’t forget the things we said, the days we spent,
the passion we played, and wasted, and lost.
If I forget the last time we kissed, then it never mattered.
I looked into your far-away eyes, and watched them clear
I am the last one to hear you say, “I love you.”
I stood in the rain as they drove you away
and tried, in vain, to recall our very first day.
(c) Shawn D. Allen

To Dad, from Jon

                                                                 Like father, like son....
                             The following letter was given to my Dad, 9 days before his death.

Dear Dad,
I write to you to express feelings which in this family are largely left unspoken, 
so much so that I sometimes think we are descended of Greek Stoics rather 
than Russians, Germans and Poles. I give voice to these words now because 
wish you to know how I feel.

You and I shared many a disagreement when I was younger. You saw the world 
one way and I another and neither of us was going to concede the other right. 
I have found, with frequent bemusement, that as I grew older, you seemed to grow 
smarter and wiser. And as I have forged my own path through this life, I often see 
your wind-worn footprints in the dust, just ahead of me.

I can say with certainty that in my 52 short years on this planet I have never once
encountered a man as steadfast as you. The temptations and ill behavior of this
world have never held sway over you. You have never seen fit to steal from others, 
disrespect your wife, belittle your children, mistreat anyone, act with violence, bear a 
grudge, or be dishonest for any reason. Indeed, you even saw fit to befriend a former
business colleague whose dealings once cheated you of a great sum. You always 
seem to act out of a simple willingness to help others whenever it is in your power to 
do so. You have been every bit, in every word, every thought, and every deed, a good
man, honest and true. And that is the best damn thing you can say about any man.

The chosen path of your journey requires a moral compass that seems largely gone 
from this world now. Despite the inequities and temptations of this life, you managed to provide for your family and helped raise four mostly good men to carry on your good 
name and the good name of your father. Your example has always given me the 
guidance I need in my quest to be the best person I can be. Admittedly I am not there yet; 
some would say I have a good distance to go for you have given me much to live up to.

I love you, Dad. You have bequeathed to me riches of spirit that I can never repay and 
only hope to pass on to my own children. I am grateful to have had you for my father
and I am honored to know you as a man.