A Daughter’s Loss

Russell Stone 1927

On the way to work the other day, I drove by a piece of land the family used to own.  In my head I heard the phrase, I’ve walked this land.  It played over and over in my head.  When I got to work it came out with a lot of other words in the form of a poem.  

Russ Stone Graduation
The family farm is long gone, owned by other people who have cut down the trees I grew up with and burned down the house my grandfather and father built.  It’s not our land any longer and hasn’t been for a long time.  
However there are moments when I feel so connected, to joined with the land I want to tell the people there to get off.  In reality, I only lived on the land for seventeen years.  Yet part of me is still there

Russell & May 1932

going through the seasons.

Russell & Joan Wedding
In a conversation with a friend, we talked about my dad.  I’ve been thinking of him a lot lately.  I have no idea why but he’s come to my mind a lot in the last month or two.  I’ve wondered a lot about what he would be like if he had lived.  He’d be 91 at this point.  He was a middle aged man when he died.  
Russell and ?? in South Dakota
I wonder what he’d think about my daughters – he didn’t know the younger two.  I wonder what he’d think about me, where I am in life, how my life has turned out.  I wonder how he’d feel about my siblings and how we get along (or don’t).  
Russell & Joan
I wonder how mom would be different if he were still here.  They were always so connected and so much a part of each other.  My friend assured me my father would be proud of me and my daughters.  When I doubted it, she asked me why.  She couldn’t understand how I could doubt whether he would be proud of me.  
He always encouraged us to reach further – within a safe zone – but always further.  He wanted us to reach for the stars (safely).  He didn’t want anyone to tell his daughters they couldn’t be whatever we wanted to be.  It’s been 33 years.  The grief has settled and softened but I still miss him.