For my Grandfather, Woodrow Hawkins:

Seven years old, I rode
by my Papa in that big
Ford truck. His little June bug.
Jabbering away, too innocent
to notice the light fading away.
Foreshadowing the colder
hours that would settle over our
little house at the foothills of the
mountains. The oppressive chill
of loss, the darkening.

On that day, all I saw was green
with an undertow of adventure.
Happy to be with the first man
my soul ever loved.

Before the heart condition.
Before the heart attack.
Before I mistook the hour.
Before his death.
Before my Granny’s tears.
Before I knew the pain of grief.
Before the road before us
became the road behind us,
and I wasn’t old enough to
understand letting go.
And that everyone’s here
until one day they’re not.

The days of homemade ice cream,
piggyback rides, warm breezes
and my papa’s unconditional love.

When one precious moment merged
into another. Drinking lightness in
the light. Dizzy with lightness.

The gathering of the light as it
fell from the sky.
And thinking there’d still be
time to pour more.

And now I’ve lived long enough
to look back, to reflect;
and yearn for, even beg for,
the before, the sweet bliss
of not knowing what I would
come so desperately to miss.

-Tosha Michelle


106 thoughts on “Then

    1. Clearly, you are feverish. Anyway, thank you. My Papa spoiled me rotten. He couldn’t go anywhere without me. I didn’t understand why I couldn’t go to the pool hall with him. Oh the fits I would pitch. One time I snuck in the back of the truck, when he found me, he wasn’t mad he just took me and bought me an ice cream. He was a good man. Died much too young. xx

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Apparently so! I met this horse who said you had broken his mind and riding ability!
        Now we are into weird territory!! Haha

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Thank you for sharing this.
    My heart goes out to you. I’m both sorry for your loss, and happy for you that you had this precious soul in your life to cherish, for the time you did. Memories are the blessing that now remains. Again, thank you for taking us with you through this special journey. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  2. What a beautiful write on the pain of loss mixed with a sense of loss of innocence as well. I am sure you know the story of Buddha – Gautama who was a prince who fulfilled his destiny the day he came to experience the pain of suffering and loss as he was meant to. There is something all at once heartbreaking and heartwarming about understanding the greater picture behind loss. Somehow you’ve captured both despite the sadness

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Surely! I too had such wonderful granddad, he and my grandmother raised me for the most part. I still miss him very much but have such sweet memories. I am sure he knew your heart was and is full of love for him.xo

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Time goes by, sadly our dads passed away (mine too recently), but their love remains in our hearts, every day, as a warm light that protect us and help us in our dark moments.
    Beautiful tribute, Tosha.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. “Goobly goo”
        There are some many sentences I could write in response to the hat answer!! Christ on a flagpole!! Sooooo many!! You just set me up sometimes, I’m sure of it.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That’s what my teachers used to say. And then make me go stand outside the classroom.
        I fear they maybe been correct.
        If you need me I’ll be just outside.
        Now and I again I will look through the narrow window and make faces. Ciao!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Before the pain of loss finds us.
    An unconditional love is set in stone, and build a foundation to carry on.
    Beautiful, no doubt he’s proud of you.
    Call me dark. After the loss of this love. One of my favorite songs became. Abraham Martin & John, by Dion.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Wow; you touched my heart and my tears. Your Grampa looks like my Dad in many ways, and my Dad has also passed on. You just miss ’em more and more. Hope I’m not obvious going out shopping now, with my tear-streaked face… Drat! (hee-hee)

    Liked by 1 person

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