Friday, April 25, 2008

Pennies From Heaven or Daddy Blows the Train Whistle

I used to read Dear Abby in the Lake Charles newspaper; every so often she would run these "pennies from heaven" letters from people who would find pennies in places or ways that would remind them of someone who had died. I'm a sentimental person, but I just really cannot get into the whole pennies from heaven thing.

I sure do miss my dad though. If I had a penny for every time I've wished I could talk to him, just ONCE, since he's been gone, then DH and I would be drinking champagne on our yacht in the Caribbean right now – 23 years is a long time. They say time heals all wounds, and I suppose it does, but wounds that deep, those wounds, they leave scars.

I was thinking about him last night, and funnily enough, I guess I had my own kind of pennies from heaven moment. To explain – when I was a kid, every Saturday without fail, Daddy and I would watch American Bandstand and Soul Train. He loved music and he taught me to love it too, something that has always stayed with me.

Well, anyway, last night, we were watching Scrubs, and they did a silly skit about moving elderly patients to new rooms. The music they used was Love Train by the O'Jays. I don't think I've heard that song since our Soul Train days. For me, that was like one of Dear Abby's pennies from heaven.

Auntie wrote about the amazingly noisy train whistle that blew during my grandmother's burial service. We thought it seemed like a final salute. At the time, I had fleeting thoughts of a train whistling goodbye, but my new silly thought for the day is of joining a love train. A soul train. I doubt very seriously that Mama and Papa Barber would pick Love Train as their song of choice, although I'm sure they would know it just as they knew all the top forty songs of the seventies because of me (Mama Barber once threatened to write down the words to Bad Bad Leroy Brown and strangle me with them), but, Hey! This is heaven! They can pick whatever song they want to listen to. Love Train is exactly the type of song Daddy would pick. If people can believe in pennies from heaven, then I can believe in train whistles.

Thanks Daddy. I hear you. If you are on that train, I hope you have a better sense of rhythm now.


Daddy and I watched this show together. I wish there was a better version of it on youtube!


Taminator said...

My dad passed away 24 years ago next month. How many times I wish he could come back for just one day! I wish he could see his grandchildren so much. I was such a daddy's girl and I know he'd love my girls. Funnily enough, I was thinking just yesterday how he'd be ranting over the cost of gas these days. He crosses my mind frequently. Sounds like you and I are in the same boat. :( I like your soul train moment. Love Scrubs, too. Kelso's my new hero!

Doubtful Muse said...

We probably are in the same boat. We're about the same age too, which means we were old enough to be grown when our dads died, but not really all the way there, if that makes sense. It's not the same as losing a parent when you're a child, which I imagine must be worse, but it's also not the same as when you're older -- it's right on the cusp of being an adult, but not quite being there. I always had the sense that my dad didn't see me make it there and it left me with the huge sense of loss that he wouldn't have known that I did and that I turned out all right...

Tess said...

Big hugs, Tamara. And I know what you mean - the smallest things can open memory's floodgates. My dad's only been gone for 6.5 years, but I still miss him horribly. There are times I'd love just to sit down and chat with him. And we'd have loved for him to have visited us here at the house.

John Barber said...

Strange, Tam. I was thinking about him just yesterday. I was putting Benjamin to bed and my thoughts went to Uncle Ben. I wish I had some pictures - heck, I wish I remembered him. I was just a little kid when he died.

I'd love to hear some more stories...


Doubtful Muse said...

Hi John, I have lots of photos (and stories). I managed to get my mother's old photos last summer and I'm in the process of digitising them. When I'm finished, you're welcome to have copies -- I think there are even a couple of your dad in there, though we didn't see him much once we were in Mt. Home and he was in Florida. It's funny; I don't think I even met you or Joy until we were adults. I remember Sherry from when she was a baby though. And I distinctly remember driving your mother crazy during a couple of the summers I stayed in Florida!

Sherry said...

It never took much to drive mom crazy!

Interesting you should post this .... I was thinking about your dad on Monday of this past week. Our adoption social worker was asking me all kinds of family questions and one question she asked was what kinds of losses my family experienced while I was growing up. I mentioned your dad and that was the only thing I could think of.

I'm pretty sure I remember meeting your dad once when I was in AR, but I have no idea how old I was. I may have met him more than that, but I'm not sure. I wish I could have known him.

I do remember when he died, though. I think I was in middle school. I remember that I had a band concert (or something) while my dad was gone for the funeral and I think my other grandparents came to stay with us and came to my concert. (I could totally be making this all up, though! I tend to have a selective memory about lots of things from when I was growing up!!!!)


tamsaunt said...

I can't think of anythough very profound to post right now, except that I am thankful that you all found each other.

Also, I had a pennies from Heaven moment yesteday when I wish for Daddy for the millioneth time since he died. I helped Mackie buy a fan and of course, it had to put together. Need I say more!