Monday, May 20, 2013

Still Asking Why?

Yesterday was my Dad's 65th death anniversary.  He was 38 and I was 3 when he was tragically killed in a work-related accident.  He left for work early Thursday morning and never came home again.  He was inspecting a multi-ton furnace door when it came loose and began to fall. He ran but tripped and was crushed from the waist down.  In 1948 hospitals could only do so much for these types of injuries.  Dad died three days later. My Mom was widowed; my brother and I, orphaned.  Why?

I've asked myself why for the past 65 years.  Why did a man who was so caring, loving and funny die in the prime of his life?  Why did a woman who was a terrific wife and mother have to shoulder such an unbearable loss?  Why did two children, ages 3 & 5 have to become fatherless so young? Why did the lives of this happy little family have to change so dramatically for the worse?

And why after all this time is his dying so fresh in my mind and so painful to my heart even today?

I have never been able to find the answers to the why of  it.  You'd think that after 65 years I might stop asking why and just be resigned to my Dad's passing. I will never stop wanting to know why, but the answer unfortunately will never come.  Of that I'm sure.

Over the years I've often taken my query to the top asking God to explain why my Dad had to die! Even if He knows, He's not talking!

Monday, May 13, 2013

An Adventure To Remember

So I arrive exactly one day before Gabe Weston Alexander enters the world!  Talk about timing.  Everything goes well; easy labor, however my daughter begs to differ, home in two days, baby is adapting nicely to a schedule, however my daughter begs to differ, and now I can focus on the other two boys who need some well-deserved attention.

On Saturday morning, Liam, Beckham, Sadie, the dog, and I set out on a hiking adventure down the trail behind their rental.  It's a beautiful wide path edged on both sides with natural forestry and a stream running parallel to the path.  We stopped often to collect bugs, rocks, weeds, etc. I unleashed Sadie so she could run free through the brush, chase forest animals, and roll in whatever dogs like to roll in. Periodically we'd go to the edge of the trail and watch the water splashing over the boulders in the stream.  The boys and I found all kinds of rocks to throw to see who could make the biggest splash!

At one point we spied an area in the stream where the boulders and rocks were positioned in such a way that crossing to the other side seemed doable. The boys begged me to take the challenge and extend our exploration to new heights. In truth, they didn't have to do any serious begging; I was as ready for the challenge as they were. All three of us slid down the embankment to the water's edge.  I instructed the boys to take their time when crossing so as not to fall in.  Like leap frogs, both of them hopped across a series of rocks in a flash.  They were on the other side before I could blink my eyes twice.  Now, it was my turn.  As I stretched my left leg out to the first rock, I prayed that a higher power was there to support me. He or she was because I managed to make it over without any problem.

We spent time searching for more treasures; we found a beaver's dam, a 15' branch that Liam used as a balance pole, and an abandoned bench that someone may have used 100 years ago!  After awhile we decided to go back.  Liam was the first to reach the stream's edge.  He managed to hop on two rocks before his leg slipped into the water.  He and I began laughing so hard that Beckham decided to not slip but actually jump into the freezing water.  Now our laughter escalated to roars.  What great fun we were having!

It was my turn to attempt the crossing and to do it remaining dry.  Seemed that luck was still with me because I had only the last boulder to navigate before setting my feet on land once again. I got my right leg situated on a flat spot, but as I tried to bring my left leg forward I slipped, first twisting the knee, then crashing it on the boulder with my full weight.  My head fell smack dab in the mud and weeds at the water's edge.  When I lifted it, my face was brown and my hair was adorned with twigs and leaves. After asking if I was all right, the boys cackled on loud and long.  Finally, they made it across and started up the embankment.  But I couldn't move. No one was around and I had to find a way up to the trail.  It was Liam who suggested I use the 15' branch as a cane but since I'm now only 5'4.5" (use to be 5'6") that idea was not an option.  However, by wedging the branch between two tree trunks, I managed to pull myself up.

The boys and Sadie ran home.  I hobbled slowly along.  When they reached the front door, talking at the same time telling my daughter about why they were all wet, what they saw on the other side, and how much fun they had, suddenly the realization that someone was missing occurred to her. 

"Where's Grammy," she asked.

 "Oh, she hurt her knee when she fell on the rocks and got her face stuck in the mud," replied Liam.

"Can she walk and should I go get her?" questioned my daughter.

"No, she's okay, but she probably won't get home anytime soon" laughed the redheaded imp.

A little while later I limped in, examined my battered and swollen knee, laid on the couch with an ice pack and smiled.  What a hiking adventure that was!  Probably be the next book in the "Grammy's Gang" series.