My grandfather passed away on Saturday. He turned eighty-eight at midnight and left this world thirty minutes later. He was ready to go, which always makes things easier.
Over the years, I’ve been honored with penning poems for funeral programs. I’ve also had the joy of nudging marriages along with a handful of words. Each time, I write with the individuals in mind. Each poem or piece a testament to a specific person. A specific purpose.
My grandfather was a quiet man. Midwestern stoic. A hard worker. A provider. A practical man. He was the kind to show his care for others through actions, not words. And yet, deep within this practical exterior was a soul of whimsy.
A welder by trade, he pieced together bits and scraps in his free time. Nails. Pop bottle tops. Cast iron skillets. In his work-worn hands, these every day items came together as miniature works of art.
The refrigerator magnets of my childhood were pop top skillets with two painted eggs frying inside. A beautiful nail rocking chair adorned my mom’s bookshelf, while tiny windmills captured the attention of guests. Just yesterday, a skillet clock passed hands from my mom to my little sister. All these and more were gifts from a quiet, unassuming man.
He took his business motto seriously: “We weld everything but broken hearts and the crack of dawn.”
In life, he created. In honor of his life, I write.
WELDED BY LOVE
Love is not a parade of roses.
It’s a rocking chair,
to relieve your weary load.
Love is not fancy dinners
celebrated on commercial holidays
rich with chocolate, wine and flawless diamonds.
It’s breakfast—two eggs, over easy—in a beat up frying pan.
Love is the breath of the wind,
spinning through windmill blades,
full of energy, passion and power.
It’s raw and untainted,
a hodgepodge of little things
not meant to woo,
but to comfort the soul
It’s a rough beard
and rougher hands
Love is not fixing what is broken;
It’s never breaking it in the first place.
We weld everything
but broken hearts
and the crack of dawn.
You welded more than you will ever know.
I write to give breath to that which may be forgotten. I write to teach, not preach. To soothe the soul with a balm of words made of hope and compassion. I write to give voice to those who cannot.
Why do you write?
Curious minds want to know.