the geese

My buddy Eclectic wrote a post today detailing a memory of storm watching with her father. It really hit my heart.

I’ve been watching the geese migrate. When I see them, I think of my dad.

My parents lived on a piece of land right in the middle of an absolutely humungous farm. The owner of the farm allowed them to live and farm right there in the middle of his crops in return for my dad working with him in his fields. My dad would work all day in the owner’s fields and them come home and work in his huge garden too. He loved it. He loved being outside, he loved watching all the wildlife and he was enamored with the geese.

During the last couple of years my dad got to calling me to tell me about the huge flocks of geese flying overhead. He’d tell me about how loud they were, where they landed, where he thought they were headed and on and on and on. Mostly it made me smile… sometimes it just made me want to get off the phone.
I would stand there rolling my eyes silently thinking of all the things I needed to get done and wish he would just stop talking and say he needed to hang up or something. I didn’t feel like that all the time and I’m so grateful that I never told him I needed to get off the phone. I’m glad I listened.

Now when I see the geese, I stop to watch them. I catch myself telling my daughters, and anyone else who will listen really, how much my dad loved watching the geese. I tell them about how he would call and tell me about them. I can “see” his eyes sparkling with the wonder of them.

The Saturday before my dad died, we were all at the house visiting. My dad took us outside for something and as I was helping him with the zipper to his coat, we heard the geese.

My 73 year old father was losing his coordination and couldn’t zip his own coat anymore…he looked like a little boy attempting it…I could see his determination and did the best I could to help him accomplish his task. My heart was breaking as I witnessed his return to childhood…the steady progress towards leaving this world…for just a moment as we watched the geese, his eyes twinkled with glee, and I imagined the child he had once been discovering the wonder of these birds and their flight. He left us 5 days later.

Today I heard the geese. As I looked up and thought about my dad, I felt a most beautiful moment of peace. During those precious few seconds I saw again the twinkle in my dad’s eye and I heard again the smile in his voice as he told me about the geese.

As the moment passed, all I could think was “Thanks Dad.”



9 responses to this post.

  1. Oh what a great memory, and all
    we have are memories when are loved
    ones are gone.

    Thanks for all your support Traci.
    Me, Sarah, the sisters-I am so
    happy our paths crossed.

    You were so good to Sarah and now
    us. I have no words to really
    convey my thanks.

    My internet access is going to be
    sketchy at best. You can ask
    “the sisters” how I am doing.

    I don’t know if they will post
    or not. They are a little sad I am
    leaving. But I know they will
    visit Deb if nothing else.



  2. wow, I too have those moments when I know my mom is with me.
    It is amazing. What an incredible gift to be able to allow the visits.
    Most people don’t believe. I believe.


  3. What a beautiful post. It made me think how we need to cherish things and experiences with people we love.

    Happy weekend to you,


  4. Traci, you have stunned me into silence here. (And that’s a pretty huge accomplishment, so congratulations on that!!)

    Our dads will continue to be present in our lives through these “everyday” kinds of memories. The geese really do make me think of you now — I saw some just this morning over the river and thought, “I have to remember to tell Traci!”


  5. Oh honey, I saw your comment over at Deb’s, and now I’m weeping with you. What a big loss you’ve sustained — in so many pieces — in such a short time! My thoughts are with you tonight. Hope tomorrow is kind.


  6. I keep thinking “I will leave a commment here when I can do so without crying.” That still hasn’t happened yet so screw it. Beautiful post.


  7. Hi i found your blog via Debutaunts and i am glad i did.
    I am a huge believer of Life after Life. My mother passed in 2002, i know she is with us, every time i see a Hawk , I know she is watching down on us,its her sign.
    I believe our loved ones who have passed are having a blast. They are no longer in pain and they “visit” us and watch over us.
    Peace and thanks for shareing your heartfelt story.


  8. That was so beautiful. Thank you. I really enjoyed your story. I’ll think of you and your Dad the next time I see the geese.



  9. I am so glad you have that …. *hugs* And, I am so glad I found you again!!


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