Wednesday, November 18, 2009

I Always Watched Over You

Like a sentinel she sat on the porch, Victor at her side. Doris didn't miss a thing. Over the many years of my youth, I played with their daughters and sons. It was another place I could call home.

Marilyn was the only person I ever knew who memorized the Bible. She was a brilliant woman who lost her life in the mission field. Her family grieved, and I grieve with them still.

Her older sister, Geneva, became the sister of my heart. When my father lay dying, she helped me to lift him, to tend to him, to grieve for him. And, wrapping her arms around me, we wept together.

Merrill, Don and I played together for as long as I can remember. We flew across the barn on the swing, walked the creek, played baseball in the pasture.

Lowell came later. Mom babysat for him, and he tagged along behind his older brothers. He became familiar face at our house.

When the married Loxley girls came home to visit, the walk down the lane always began at Victor and Doris's house then to Margaret and Hollie's. I always looked forward to the hugs I received as soon as I crossed the threshold. Yes, I was home again.

On one of my last visits to their house, Victor was very ill. Once again, it was his heart. I sat on the bed holding his hand, tears streaming down both of our faces. I begged him to be strong and not leave me. This gentle man had been a father to me. I could not bear to lose a second one. I kissed his cheek and went into the living room with Doris.

We sat and talked. Talked of the neighborhood, talked of family. Conversation turned to the friction between my mother and I. "I knew they didn't watch you," she said. "But I did. I always did." Over the years she had kept tabs on me, and I never knew. I loved her even more.

Age and illness has taken a toll as it does. Doris and Victor now reside in the Brethren Home. The last I visited we reminisced about good times and again, family. I sat absorbing these two people who mean the world to me. I want once more to sit on the stoop and visit with them. I want once more to run after balls in the outfield. These dear people are Neff Road. I close my eyes and return to their loving arms again.

1 comment:

LJL said...

Thank you. That is beautiful.