I noticed the sky this morning,
the morning you left us.
It was beautiful;
rose-colored and coral.
I thought of the old saying-
you know the one-
Red sky at morning,
sailors take warning.
And I started to cry.
It wasn’t warning sailors,
and I knew it.
It was warning us,
all of us that are left
that the world would be a little bit darker soon,
because you were going Home.
that was why I held your hand maybe a little bit too tight
right before I had to go.
I figured it might have hurt,
but I knew you wouldn’t mind.
You would have done the same
if you’d been able to.
Now I have to figure out
how exactly my little boy is going to
grow up knowing just what a great man you were.
He’ll only see pictures of you,
the ones that prove me right-
that you were the best-dressed man that ever lived,
and so handsome.
(More handsome than all your brothers. Shhh.)
When he grows up,
he won’t get to remember what it was like
to wander through your garden with you,
admiring the stunning array of flowers
you and Gramma worked so hard on.
My son will never watch
Gramma, with the most tender of touch,
comb back the glorious strands of white and grey
from your forehead.
You know, I didn’t mind it a bit
when you missed a haircut or two.
There are far too many balding older men in the world.
It always seemed a shame to clip
the admirable abundance of hair you retained.
I’ll tell you a secret now.
Don’t be mad.
I always hated your favorite hymn.
In the Garden was never quite grandiose enough for me.
But you know I’ll play it for you anyway,
when it’s time to say goodbye.
The words, I really don’t mind, though.
And when I am digging in my own dirt,
I’ll sing them to myself
and think of you.
“I come to the garden alone,
when the dew is still on the roses…”
I maintain my opinion that
Crystal Gayle was always prettier than Loretta Lynn.
I keep saying it,
hoping you’ll come back and argue with me.
Loretta never knew what she was missing,
but all the rest of us will,
until we see you later.