Hello everyone, it’s me again. Sorry that I missed last weeks column, but I’m gonna make up for it with two in one week. Honestly, I just didn’t have much to write about. Not only that, but I’ve had a lot on my mind as of late. This month will mark the one year anniversary of my Father’s death. March 27, to be exact. It’s hard to believe that it’s been a year already. Time just seems to have flown right by. Strange how that works, huh? You lose someone so special, someone who regardless of their flaws, has meant the world to you and life is supposed to continue as normal. They’re gone, and time just keeps going without them. The earth keeps moving, and life goes on, business as usual. I keep a picture of him in a drawer next to my bed. Sometimes I take the picture out, and I sit and look at it. Most of the time I will cry, other times I don’t. I found something a few months after his funeral, that he had written during an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting. It was in a notepad, which he used to take notes in. It said “I ask for God to release my anger, and truly set me free.” Alone, this sentence doesn’t seem very relevant. But when accompanied by the writing we chose for his funeral booklet, it completely makes sense. Here is the piece we chose.
Don’t grieve for me, for now I’m free;
I’m following the path God laid for me.
I took his hand when I heard him call;
I turned my back and left it all.
I could not stay another day,
To laugh, to love, to work or play.
Tasks left undone must stay that way;
I found that place at the close of day.
If my parting has left a void,
Then fill it with remembered joy.
A friendship shared, a laugh, a kiss;
Ah yes, these things, I too, will miss.
Be not burdened with times of sorrow;
I wish you the sunshine of tomorrow.
My life’s been full, I savored much;
Good friends, good times, a loved one’s touch.
Perhaps my time seemed all too brief;
Don’t lengthen it now with undue grief.
Lift up your heart and share with me;
God wanted me now, he set me free.
When I read what he had wrote in his notebook, then thought back on the writing we chose, it all made sense. It was like he had written all of these words to us, and left them there for us to read. He asked for Gods help, to release his anger and to set him free. Free from his demons (alcoholism), which no matter how hard he tried, he could not defeat. God answered his plea for help. I too have asked God to release my anger and set me free from my pain. I have chosen to let go of bad memories and remember the great times spent with my Father, and there were plenty. With that, I feel a sense of closure and relief.
In loving memory
John Charles Rhoades
March 22, 1954 – March 27, 2003