Friday, July 17, 2009


Violet is 14 months old. Not a major milestone for most kids, but 14 months is a number that has some significance for me. See, Violet missed my Dad by just 14 months. Had life moved faster for me, or slowed down for Daddy, he might have gotten to meet his first granddaughter. 14 months--just a wrinkle in time, really.

Violet and I spent Friday at my friend Leslie's lakehouse. I hadn't seen her parents for years and it was nice to catch up with them for a bit. Talking to her father, the way he called me "Kiddo," reminded me so much of my own Dad. I suppose Mr. Ryan and my Dad were contemporaries so no surprise they'd use the same lingo. Hearing his voice transported me briefly back in time.

The most fascinating and appealing part of the idea of heaven, at least for me, is the togetherness of everyone. People who missed each other in life, like my Dad and Violet or me and my own Grandfathers, get to overlap in death. Of course, getting to see those who passed on before us is a huge comfort, but it is those initial meetings that really captivate my imagination. The logistics of heaven start to get messy when you think about how many generations of ancestors may be waiting there to say hey, but, I guess with all eternity to play with, I can spend plenty of time with Great-Great-Great Aunt Maude and not worry to much about what else I'm missing. Ahhh, yes, heaven. What a splendid idea!

I feel that heaven is likely an idea created by humans as a salve for the deepest losses we suffer so I can't just rely on Violet meeting up with my Daddy "someday." I have to do what I can during life to make sure Violet and my Dad do overlap. So I've been trying to remember the details of the "Hairy Green Toe" story he told me so I can share it with her. And I've been making sure to call her toenails "sock sabers" and refer to her as "Little V" every now and then. I'll call her Critter and of course Kiddo in case there isn't a light at the end of the tunnel. Because if there isn't a heaven where Bill Schroeder and Violet Pierce get to meet each other, part of my job as a Schroeder and a Pierce is to see that she gets some sense of who her Grandpa was and how much he would have loved her.


jeff said...

Dad would have loved to have all the little "critters" as part of his life. Yeah, he would have worried that we were "never gonna make it in this economy" also. I wish he'd been around to see all the new people who were pieces of his genetic code marching into the future. It's getting hard to "wish" that dad had made it though. Sometimes when I wish that, I wonder what I'm wishing for. Certainly not another 2-3 years of suffering dad. I want the dad who took us to Europe. Sure he'd have less hair, worry about money a little more and have a toothpick fort that would rival Ft. Sumpter, but that's the guy these little kids should have been able to meet.

Seeing all these people who didn't know people like dad and granny is a new experience. I feel like I've always been the one who has been told stories of grandfathers I never knew. Now, we're all in the position to pass along memories of people they just missed, or perhaps were too young to remember. I guess you really become a link in the family chain during this part of your life.

So much has happened since dad died. In some ways it feels like an eternity has passed. Reading that it's been 28 months really makes me realize how quickly events fade and how steady the passing of time is.

Babs said...

Oh my yes! He would've been head over heels in love with her! We'd be having SOME FUN right now, no doubt about that.
Your daddy was wonderful. I promise to share my memories of him with her.