05 October 2010


One of my proudest days was 12 years ago. Every bit of it is a vivid documentary in my mind. It was a Saturday morning and I was about to go out the door. I had arranged that day for my ex-husband and my fiance to meet. A cordial and formal introduction. The very first person I told about my engagement was my ex-husband. My daughter's father. Of course I told him first. The second people were my parents. I remember what my father said so clearly. He said "that's probably what it takes," about my fiance. All about men. This memory is about about men.

Then the phone rang. It was my mother. The husbands did meet that day.
Under very different circumstances.

I have been thinking so much about my father lately, feeling so close to him. I have made many decisions that were always his territory. I am really undoing many of his decisions. I emptied the house that he and mother bought and filled and lived in for decades. I sold that house. I undid his signature of purchase by signing it over to someone else. I wondered if it was alright with him. I moved his wife out of that house. I have moved her again. Making all these decisions of his I have felt like I am wearing his shoes.

I had been putting off a very big task but once mother was hospitalized last year I knew I had to move on it right away. I needed to become co-guardian of my severely disabled brother. I didn't want to attempt it after mother was gone, because it would be more difficult to do it de novo, and because it would leave Kerry without an advocate outside the state run facility he lives in. So I started the long process in December and by the last day of August had an appointment with an attorney to finish the legal part.

Looking back through all the old paperwork and signatures, it was clear I was again posting up and taking my father's place as co-guardian alongside mother for Kerry, my brother.

Feeling close to daddy, melancholy, scared, a little alone.

A box arrived from a new friend. It is a new friendship that has an old soul. Charlotte did not know what had been going on with my brother. We bonded over a different boys, my dead brother, her dead son and the tragic beauty of the art we make. But she didn't know how I was feeling about this brother or my role.

Without that knowledge she sent this which  arrived the night before my drive to a northern Oklahoma city to an attorney's office.

She happened to be moved by this picture on my blog and captured it in this piece.

It is my father. 

A little nest with four eggs is perched by his feet. Four children.
I am the only one left to carry on his role in this world.

This old French letter is dated with my daughter's birthday.

Miraculous. A talisman for me. It made so many things easier.

My father died this month 12 years ago. I was there with him as he died and stayed with him as his body cooled off. I sat with him until the funeral home people came. I was so proud I did not leave him alone.

Thank you sweet Charlotte for making this transition easier, with beauty.


  1. I declare that anyone who reads this and isn't moved is dead. On the inside.

    Charlotte is just amazing, that really warmed my heart.

  2. Ummm wow...so very deep!
    I needed a really good cry today and now I am having myself one.
    You are so multilayered and a very special person...
    I know this.

  3. Robin,
    I am stunned...very teary...and totally in awe of the strength and wisdom you have gained through so many hard situations. You have had to be an "adult" long before the rest of us, in so many ways and circumstances.

    Charlotte's gift is beautiful on so many levels, It is a really nice piece of work but the thought that went into it is profound.

    I am proud to call you a friend.

  4. I am in awe of all that you are, and all that you bear on your shoulders. I think of you often, and I am always wishing you peace.

  5. This is an incredible post ! Thank you Robin for sharing such a personal part of your life. And Thanks to your friend Charlotte for being so sensitive.

  6. Beautifully written! You have stepped into that role so gracefully. You are an amazing woman. Love ya, sista!

  7. This has to be one of the most poetically and beautifully written post I've ever read. I love the way you write, Robin...always have. This digs deep, though. I cherish this one, for reasons unbeknownst to you....thank you.

    That necklace...lovely!

  8. Isn't it wonderful to have new soul mates brought to you just when you need them. I like this Charlotte. What a moving piece this is. I never thought of you stepping into his shoes but you certainly have. I think he would approve of each and every thing you have done; in fact, I think he is in awe of you at this very moment. Peace, love and strength back to you.

  9. You are as beautiful as Charlotte's necklace. Hugs for you, dear Robin.

  10. Goodness gracious Robin. This is a beautiful post. It speaks to me on different levels, but I am so happy that you had this little talisman arrive just at the moment you needed it. These little pieces of fate are so comforting and confounding. I know your Daddy is proud of all that you've stepped up to do with such grace and courage. Here's to being daddy's girls.... :)

  11. Robin,
    I cannot find your address! I know it has to do with your initials and I have so much in my head that I cannot remember. Would you send a quick note?I see you are knittting!
    Big hugs,

  12. Bless your heart! Tough times but finding new good friends certainly pads the way doesn't it. Beautiful thoughtful post and love Charlotte's gift!!

  13. This is really a beautiful post, Robin...so much goes on in our lives outside blogging and this sweet gift arrived at just the right time...Hope you are well...XO Linda


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