Monday, February 6, 2006

Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust

                                 Picture from Hometown   Well, here I am......finally.  Sorry it is under these circumstances.  I lost my step-father last Friday.  Will be headed the funeral soon.

Polk Hawthorne.  He came into Mama's life about 5 years after she lost Daddy.  She had tried the Church Singles group, and a little dating.  But had been appalled at the behavior of the men.  I was off at college, about a two hour drive away.  I knew she felt incredibly lonely.  I swear she heard as soon as that Mustang Cobra turned onto the other end of our two mile highway headed to the house.  She would be outside by the driveway waiting when I pulled in!

Polk was her sister's husbands double first cousin.  (Don't worry....if you ain't from the South, you'll never figure it out.)  They "met" over at their house.  And they began to keep each other company.  Soon it was bonified dating.  And then marriage.  My sisters and I took Mama to see Conway Twitty live for her bachlorette party. 

Any old how.  I was very happy for Mama, because she seemed happy for the first time since Daddy died.  But I had some issues I quietly worked through on my own....with a little help from above.  They were planning to move into "our" house after the honeymoon.  I was home from school in bed alone there.  Wide awake.  I heard Daddy's footsteps walk from the back bedroom, through the kitchen and into the living room.  Oh, they were his for sure.  As he was the only person who ever walked through that house and made the lids rattle in the bottom of that old Frigidaire stove!  (No, I do not believe in ghosts.  I believe that when we experience something we explain as a ghost, it is either a vision God has allowed to reassure or comfort us or a demon posing as a deceased soul.)  This experience reassured me deeply that no one could remove Daddy from my heart or take his place in Mama's.

Polk, himself, proved to be a reassurance.  He never tried to impose himself on me as "Daddy".  Oh, he was there for me in many ways like a daddy, but he didn't assert himself as one.  Our relationship evolved into one like that of a dear uncle and niece.

Mama was only around for two short years after their marriage.  But Polk helped her to be happy.  To feel needed.  And to feel taken care of.  I don't know how she could have stood the loss of my middle sister without him.

My kids have clung to him.  Neither of them ever got to know all of their grandparents.  He was the feisty, funny old man that chewed a cigar, raised peas and tomatoes.  The one they helped in the summer.  They one that always had yellow cling peaches to eat at his house and a new cigar box for them at the start of each school year.

Polk, like so many of his generation, served in WWII.  Came home.  Worked many years as a guard at a Texaco refinery.  Gardened.  Truck farmed his produce to grocery stores along the way to work.  In later years, he had a garden with a shed, where folks came to him to get the biggest and the best.  (But Daddy could've beat him any day on tators!)  Never down sick.  Always plugging along, through spurs in his neck, diabetes, and other infirmities.  Never really complained.  After all, what good would it do..."It wouldn't change anything.", he'd say.

It took 83 years for his age to catch up with him.  He was 84 upon his passing.  I know that there is not a lot of detail about him here...but he was a simple person.  And, after all, it is the mark he has left on us that matters.                                

Polk, you'll be missed. Picture from Hometown



  1. I am sorry for your loss. I will pray for you and the family. Many hugs....

  2. Praying for u my friend. Take care and know he is with God. God bless, Beckie

  3. So sorry for you lost.   He sounds like a wonderful man.


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  4. I'm sorry about your loss even more the children's loss. Grandparents are so special to children as they grow up
    God bless

  5. Sorry about your loss. Sounds like he was a great person and a great Grandad for your children. He wasn't with your mom very long but he had made his own spot in your family. My prayers are with you all. Helen

  6. so sorry for your loss. Polk sounds like a fine man.


  7. I love the simple people in life, they are such a blessing.  

    Take care and I am sorry.


  8. I am so sorry.  It's so hard to lose someone that makes such a difference.  

    And if that oilfield redneck treats you good, it's worth it to humor him!  We all miss you, but online takes up a loooottttt of time!

    Take Care. You're in my prayers!


  9. What a wonderful entry.  I'm sorry for your loss.  You certainly wrote a nice tribute to Polk.  Glad to see you back, even tho for a sad event.  Linda

  10. hello sweeetie good to see you back that is such a sweet story he sounded like a good man i am sure you and your kida will miss him you are in my prayers God bless kelley

                    LOVE FOR PEOPLE AND NO GRUDGES.
                        MAYBE I CAN MEET POLK WHEN 'MY TIME' COMES.

  12. I wish you my condolences about your step-Dad Polk.   Enjoyed reading your tribute to him as he must have been a wonderful person to know.   mark

  13. Very interesting entry about Polk. My sympathy, Paula

  14. So sorry about your loss.

  15. This was a very thoughtful and sweet way to remember him here and to share the memory with us. You were blessed in many ways as you grew up. Bea


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