"I’ll Love You ‘Til the Cows Come Home”: A Memoir

{ Tuesday, January 11, 2011 }
Preface
I've been itching to feature more creative writing on this blog rather than personal posts, and I believe this work is a decent start. I wrote this narrative over a year ago, but it remains near and dear to my heart. Without further ado, the memoir.
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My childhood was not marked by an overabundance of playthings or extravagant five-year-old birthday parties, but by experiences. The feeling of endless, raw sand beneath my feet, crisp wind stinging my cheeks while plummeting down a roller coaster, the incomparable warmth of my grandmother’s embrace. None of these irreplaceable memories would have been made possible without my father, the man who learned the simple facts in life and lived by them, who taught me the true meaning of Southern comfort and the beauty of having a tight-knit family.
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My father has always emphasized the importance of love and other simple pleasures in life, one of his favorites being family gatherings. I can recall one of my earliest Thanksgivings on a distant cousin’s farm, a glorious autumn night just before twilight swarmed the horizon. My father and I stealthily snuck out of the warm and lively house full of kinship, and I recall his hands, two measures of tenderness, holding mine and guiding me outside into the dusty, green pastures. There we stood, my tiny hands resting upon the dilapidated fence, together. It was then that we began to “call the cows in,” our ritual that I secretly looked forward to even more than my aunt’s infamous, to-die-for turkey. Giving our best efforts at our “moos,” my father and I successfully lured the speckled cows to the fence we stood behind. He laughed as I awkwardly squirmed and giggled at the touch of the cow’s buttery-soft, warm snout. My father looked upon me with crinkled, kindred eyes and in that moment I realized he loved and thought himself beloved, and I wished, for our sake, that feeling would last between us eternally.
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Over a decade of family dinners and Thanksgivings have faded into the distant past since that night, and so has my closeness to my father. Long school days and nights out with friends have replaced cartoon-watching marathons and building pillow forts. There are larger worries in life now than skinned knees and losing baby teeth, and we both know that. My father copes by wielding a bitter silence, while my solution is distance. We silently refuse to believe that the future years had come, dancing to a frenzied drum out of the murderous innocence of the sea.
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Although my relationship with my father has undoubtedly changed, my perpetual respect for him has not. Even now, I highly regard him as the man who aided in molding me into the young woman I am today. Inside, I hold the ever-burning hope that one day our closeness will once again be rekindled. I pray to be together, united, and understanding of one another. I hope for mutual comfort to be established, and envelop us both in the identical, unconditional love of a distant, beloved childhood remembrance. Perhaps this ardent hope will be fulfilled before my eyes, just prior to twilight on a crisp, blustery autumn night. Perhaps my father and I will instinctively return, hand-in-hand, to the same magical fence which left a massive, meaningful mark on my earliest days.
-Lindsay

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