Monday, March 17, 2008


My dad died on St. Patrick's Day in 2003, about a month after he turned 89 years old and just a few days before the Iraq War began. For the past ten days, I've been thinking about a post in memory of him along with this photo of him holding me, his firstborn daughter, on the day of my baptism. My first thought was to post some of his woodcarving. Posted are:

A flower carved into a redwood block.

A roadrunner carved from a piece of driftwood he found on a nearby beach.

Two views of a piece he called "Gorilla," carved from redwood.

A piece he carved in redwood and painted and titled "Wake Up!"

Then I found this audio clip read by William Stafford that reminded me of my Dad, especially because William Stafford was also born in 1914, the year World War I began. A post by Solitary Walker led me to the Mendocino Botanical Gardens and reminded me of my dad's love of gardening and the landscape where he and my mother lived for many years after my dad retired.

This morning I found this prayer he wrote exactly nine months before he died:


You are above all creation.

In it You have created all universes and everything in them.

In it You have created millions of stars and planets, far apart.

In it You have created the greatest physical force in our Universe, the magnificent sun.

In it You have created the planet for us all to live on, the Earth.

In it we have You, the sun, oceans, mountains, caves, rivers, lakes, rain, snowflakes, waterfall, forests, land, air waves we cannot see, every living creature and the most powerful force of all, Love.

Thank You my Almighty God for everything on our planet, Earth.

I ask You, my Almighty God, to forgive me for any harm I have done.

I ask You, my Almighty God, to forgive anyone who harmed me, whether I knew it or not.

You are above all human beings that You have created.

No one on Earth can be compared to You, my Almighty God.


Dad, thank you for being my father.


Loren said...

Thanks for sharing this, am.

The carvings remind me of my own.

Dawn said...

How wonderful a tribute to your dad! He would be so proud of you. It is lovely you have so much of him to keep and share. Peace

Anonymous said...

Beautiful. Thank you.

robin andrea said...

am-- This is so beautiful, and I am sorry I missed it yesterday, when you posted it. Your remembrance of your father is a compelling tribute to a man who lived his days and thought deeply about his relationship with his god. Very moving.

robin andrea said...

I meant to add that my RSS feed doesn't always update in a timely fashion.

R.L. Bourges said...

the most powerful words for me in your dad's prayer are the ones that ask God "to forgive anyone who harmed me". That says a lot about the kind of man he was.
best to you.

Dale said...


dreaminginthedeepsouth said...

Remembering him is powerful. The inheritance of this love, artistry and strength is a blessing.

God's peace to you this day.
pax et bonum