the fire is roaring tonight.

I knew he was getting older and weaker when he quit putting logs on the fire.
My entire life as long as I can remember if it was cold, or looked like it was getting cold - we had a wood burning fire at our home on Morrison Lane. Many late Autumn days were spent in the woods with my dad chopping wood.
I would be dressed in some god awful outfit with gloves that we're too big for my little soft hands with my dirty blonde hair in pigtails and my dads pride and joy. We'd use the wood splitter that he had made the Summer before - hooked to the back of the pick up and for hours and hours, I would watch my hero of a dad lift huge pieces of wood onto the splitter and slowing the sharp end would come and split the log placed just so by my dad.
I wasn't any help at all. I know that now. But then, I was convinced because he had convinced me - that I was more help than an army of men. That he couldn't have done it without me. And I believed him.
Watching the guys put logs on the fire here while we are in Jackson Hole, and watching the flame come to a roar can't help but overwhelmingly take me back to those days with my dad.
Now, he has a hard time walking. Hospital stays are familiar from falls and Parkinson's Disease is his daily life and the reason he struggles. But for years and years and years, I have blazed in my head a picture of my strong dad, winter after winter going outside to get more wood for the fire so we would be warm.
Morrison Lane is a long way away from Wyoming tonight, but sitting in front of a fire that my dad built would make me so happy. Because that would mean that his body was working and he could do what he loved to do.
Stay warm friends, cuddle up with someone you love and hold them really tight tonight.

1 comment:

meg said...

this is a *beautiful* post. very touching to me... i lost my dad this fall to a rare liver disease. we were SO close and i watched his body and mind deteriorate before my very eyes... he used to be my rock. i know how hard it is to go through that, and i pray comfort for you. hold those memories so close; remember him as the strong "hero" you saw as a little girl. blessings to you and your family!

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