today. My father, Stuart Maupin Weedon, died of cancer at home at 2719 Munson Street in Wheaton, Maryland. He had turned 59 less than month before. The snow was falling gently, and he had wanted to see snow again before he died. We gathered around his bedside as his breathing became erratic and we bid him goodbye as he took his final breath. We were all there: Mom, Butch, Sis, Joe, Maup and I. The hush in the house was one I'll never forget. I was 19 years old. When things went back to "normal," the house was so oddly quiet. We had to put the dog to sleep about the same time (she's in the picture with him - got her when I was five). So it was just Mom and I kicking around (all my brothers and sister were living on their own long since). I remember how we snacked on tuna on crackers and sipped our tea together many a winter's evening that year. We switched bedrooms too. She didn't want to be in that room anymore. And I remember well two events later that winter:
A snow storm stranded me at the college - the buses stopped running. I remember being really worried about what would happen to Mom at home all alone that night. She didn't drive, and I had ridden the bus to school that day. I remember thinking: if Daddy were alive, he'd come get me. And the utter relief when my future father-in-law showed up in his little Volkswagen (he is a huge man - 6' 7" - and barely fit in!) and brought me home. I will always be grateful.
And later that winter a friend, Bruce, drove up with me to Bronxvville to check out the College. While there his car broke down. Needed work. We were stranded for a couple days. Again, the thought: "If Daddy were alive, he'd come get us; fix the car; something!"
It was very unnerving, setting out on one's own without that anchor. For he was an anchor. Such a quiet man - and I definitely inherited from him my quick temper - a laborer, not given to deep thought about things; forever starting tasks that he never got around to finishing; shaped forever by his experiences in WW2. He was always an anchor though, always there when I needed him. Until this day, 30 years ago. 30 long years and I miss him more, I think, with each passing one.
Rest eternal grant him, O Lord, and let light perpetual shine upon him!