What’s that Big Hole?

Oh, yeah.  It’s where my dad used to be.

I woke up sobbing this morning.  Really the first big blow-out of emotion since Dad’s passing.  I kept thinking about Roger.

One of my dad’s best friends, Vern Landon, also died recently.  Vern and Dad went to high school together, farmed near each other.  Mom and Dad, Vern and Helen travelled all over the world on group trips when they retired.  Needless to say, Dad and Vern were close.

Yesterday at the gravesite, I heard someone crying behind me.  I turned around and a man my age reminded me who he was.  “Roger Landon,” he said.  I grabbed him up immediately, and we held each other while we cried.  I hadn’t seen Roger in 30 years, at least, but all the times he and his dad helped with baling hay, or working with the livestock, or picking corn rushed back.

In the spring of 1973, Mom, Dad, Vern and Helen took a trip to Las Vegas.  My grandma and I were alone on the farm when a huge snowstorm hit, cutting power and blocking all the roads.  Our cattle were starting to calve, and Granny was in a panic.  That’s when Roger showed up on his snowmobile and helped us get the cows and the calves safe.  He was my hero, and I had a crush on him from that day forward.

Standing at my dad’s grave with the October wind whipping around the sheltering tent, I knew Roger wept for his own dad as I wept for mine.  We shared so much history, and now we shared our grief.  He disappeared into the crowd after that—the rest of the family didn’t have a chance to talk to him.  I’m grateful that my girlhood hero made himself known to me and shared his heart.  It’s a gift I’ll cherish from a day filled with magic.

7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. ManicMuses
    Oct 20, 2011 @ 09:10:49

    Your Girlhood Hero is surely an angel in disguise. He was there when you needed him the most – always.

    I hope you are doing as well as can be, Sandy. Again, I’m so sorry for your loss and hope now you can begin your grieving and ultimately find peace and light.


    • Sandy Sue
      Oct 20, 2011 @ 20:09:16

      Thank you for your sweet words. I’m okay, really, I think. It’s a shift in reality, a border. On one side was life with my dad, on the other is life without him. I don’t know what that means yet.


  2. Kathryn McCullough
    Oct 20, 2011 @ 09:48:28

    What a precious memory, my friend! Hugs to you—————–


  3. Jessica
    Oct 20, 2011 @ 10:04:59

    My heart hurts for you. I lost my dad 7 years ago. It was the same year I was diagnosed and my son’s father committed suicide. Since then I have had a rollercoaster of a life. Off and on meds, self medicating and struggling with addictions. At this time I am off my meds and clean. Dealing with emotions I once stuffed away is a struggle but I keep on somehow. I hope you find peace and are able to get through this without the bipolar making it that much harder. Take care!


    • Sandy Sue
      Oct 20, 2011 @ 20:01:41

      Oh, Jessica! It seems like we all go through horrendous periods where everything that can happen happens. Just look where you are now. I’ll bet you never thought you’d get to this place 7 years ago. Sometimes I get mad about having to work so hard at this illness every single day, but then I see “normal” people who never manage their emotions, never question their thoughts, and I realize that the hard work is worth it. Blessings to you, my friend.


  4. pegoleg
    Oct 20, 2011 @ 10:28:54

    Hell, Sandy, this has me crying. I’m so, so sorry, but glad you had an old friend to lean on for a few moments.


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