pictured words

a simple pairing of pictures and poetry

Tag: Dad

All About the Love

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Dad was a teacher, a band director, and a professional musician.  In all of these professions, he was my father.  I was always learning in his presence.  He gave everything one hundred percent.  I hear, in his voice: “Nothing great was ever accomplished without enthusiasm.”  “Take it with you.  If you need it, you’ll have it.”  “Do your best.” “Practice right.”  “Never look back.  Just move forward.”  “No regrets.” “Love is the most important thing.”

All of it, important.  All of it, useful.  All of it, wise.

There were times I was privileged to witness him at his core.  Times that planted pride and love in my heart that I can hardly express. One of the things that made my knees weak came very late in life.  I was sitting with a now extremely fragile man who was watching the love of his life slip slowly away, due to Alzheimer’s.  “I’m not sure how to handle the coming day when I go to her room to kiss her goodnight, and she doesn’t know who I am.”  My heart.  The conversation was one of the hardest of my life.  But also one that showed me he was still, in his elderly and fragile state, my father.  As we talked about dark days ahead that could begin any moment, he gave me advice that encompassed all he was:  “No matter what happens, remember her love.”

Love enthusiastically.
Love takes practice.  Practice daily.
Take love with you.  If you need it, you’ll have it.
(You’ll need it.)

Thank you, Dad.  Thank you.

© Marie Elena Good, 2019

FINAL ACT OF FATHERHOOD (a sonnet filled with love for my dad)

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James F. Fagnano
January 7, 1932 – March 15, 2018

As you declined in health, we traded roles.
You, once a leader, now deferred to me.
Our switched positions jolted and left holes.
An altered beat, but how it had to be.

Your mind became confused, and body, frail.
I know you mourned your slipping stance as dad.
But in the end, your core was what prevailed –
Your father-teacher heart was ironclad.

I wanted terribly to be with you
When your heart halted beat, and breathed its last.
I told you I’d be back in “just a few.”
That short time I was gone, was when you passed.

It wasn’t happenstance. I think in fact,
It was a father’s final loving act.

© Marie Elena Good, 2018

SONNET FOR MY DAD

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My father earned a living teaching youth.
He shared with them the music of his core.
He showed them how to honor life and truth,
And gave his time to all who graced his door.

My father is a man to emulate –
A man who holds to ethical ideals.
And even now, though years have slowed his gait,
They haven’t marred the crux of what he feels.

My father’s love is deep; allegiance strong.
His charity continues to abound.
He taught me well to judge what’s right and wrong,
To gather stars, while keeping feet aground.

And so it is I pen this gift through tears –
I thank my God for granting us these years.

© Marie Elena Good, 2012

LOOKING BACK / FORWARD MARCH

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We line the street
Despite the heat;
Await the beat
Of drums.

The cadence stirs
My heart, and spurs
Excitement! Here
It comes!

The Stars and Stripes
And countless types
Of instruments
Pass by.

The pride I feel
Is deep and real
Beneath mid-
Summer’s sky.

My father’s band,
Baton in hand
Directing more
Than tunes.

His students find
He’s guided minds
And morals
Many moons.

Time marched along
So fast. So long,
Oh fleeting song
Of summer.

Now winter’s come
And slowed the drum –
But oh, I love
The drummer.

(With love and great respect for Dad … drummer, conductor, teacher, mentor,  father)

© Marie Elena Good, 2016

TEACHER (to Dad with Love)

Photo credit: Sheryl Oder

Photo credit: Sheryl Oder

“But how do you thank someone who has taken you from crayons to perfume?” (Don Black’s To Sir with Love)

Students from yesteryear gather to honor him.
I see the pride well and spill.
Not arrogance or superiority, but a grounded wonder
As he processes the ripples initiated
By his long-passed presence in their lives.

© copyright 2013, Marie Elena Good

 

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