Strix the harbinger
guards the exit gate, quizzing all
Who will pass this night?

Friday, December 11, 2009

The Dutchman

My Uncle Harold is a Dutchman, one generation removed from Holland. He began life as a vegetable farmer in Hollandale, Minnesota, and retired as a corporate CEO. I remember him when he was young, an intelligent worldly man, sure of himself and confident, sometimes to a fault. As he got older he relied more and more on his Kathleen to run the day to day details in their life. She died three years ago, leaving him depressed, half a man, a man not equipped to deal with life alone. His children have helped him, and two weeks ago they made the hard decision. Dan, his oldest son, loaded up Harold and all his essential belongings in a moving van, and they headed for Iowa where Dan lives. It was a particularly difficult time, because Harold became confused and did not remember who all these strangers, his children, were.
There are probably better versions of this song out there, but this is by Michael Peter Smith, who wrote the song. This is for Uncle Harold and his children. And for Kathleen, his Margaret, who left him alone too soon .

5 comments:

jusvelos said...

thanks for the nice post

Anonymous said...

Somebody should let the movers and shakers of the Baptist community know. Dex

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your comments on Dad Gunner. He is at our house now, still trying to argue politics and religion. Dan

Anonymous said...

I had a flashback to the Kleinpaste family filling up one pew in Clarks Grove Baptist. There was no doubt, they were the most attractive family of all, and Harold towered above all the other men (in stature and leadership.) I get in the doldrums when I stop my life here and have to fly back to Cincy for the long winter's visit of a month or more, fluffing up their feathers. My parents hang in there with slender threads, and I'm the Santa Claus coming to town. I'm ashamed to be a complainer, when I think about Danny and Pat taking care of his dad, 24/7. We live longer, but the last remaining years in old age are sad and cruel especially when one loses a mate. Mary McMannes (Sprankle)

MQM said...

Thanks for posting that. Does it somehow make these things more bearable when we find that an artist has helped put these experiences into a shareable form?
Sweet, sad story - sweet song that I'd not been aware of. Thanks again. Peace.