Friday, May 11, 2018

May 11: Judith Kroll, "Your Clothes," Losing a Parent

Your Clothes

by:  Judith Kroll

Of course they are empty shells, without hope of animation.
Of course they are artifacts.

Even if my sister and I should wear some,
or if we give others away,

they will always be your clothes without you,
as we will always be your daughters without you.


I stopped by the cemetery after work today to see my dad's cremation stone.  It was a cold early afternoon.  As I stood by his grave, a really big dog came over and nosed the palm of my hand.  I petted her head, and then I heard a man's voice behind me.

"How's it going, Martin?"

I turned around.  It was Neil, the sexton of the cemetery.  The dog was his, and he was obviously taking her for a stroll around the grounds.  Over the last couple years, Neil has dealt with my family a lot because of the deaths of my sister and father.

I greeted him, told him I was hanging in there.

He nodded at me.  "It's never easy," he said, "losing a parent.  It doesn't matter how old you are."

I nodded back in agreement. 

He walked away with his dog, and I looked down at the nameplates on the cremation stone.  There are three of them--one for my sister, one for my dad, and one for my mom.  I reached down and fingered the birth and death dates beneath my father's name.

For a few brief moments, Saint Marty felt like a little kid, lost on a beach or in the supermarket.

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