I’m thinking of Daddy today. “Forr All The Saints” appears more than once in “Out of the Whirlpool.” Holding my father’s hand as he died was a gift beyond description. I still think of his brave heart and strong arms. And, so, for All Saints Day, here are two excerpts from the book.
Shortly before 6:00 that morning, Robin came to get us. “He’s going,” she said. “He’s very close now.”
Then we sat, my mother holding Daddy’s right hand and I holding his left. His breathing faltered, resumed, and then stopped. Still holding his hand I said, “I love you Daddy.” Then I leaned forward and gently kissed his cheek for the last time.
The Saturday after we returned from Alabama and my father’s funeral we did the South Ridge Trail up Cadillac Mountain. It was when we were on the open
ledges just beyond one of the rock faces that I thought of it, that I thought of the hymn, “For All the Saints.”
I began singing it in my head as we made our way across the granite ledge. I stopped dead. I sang the verse again in my head. Standing right there on that open granite ledge looking out across the Atlantic Ocean I sang it again as the tears flowed freely.
“And when the strife is fierce, the warfare long, Steals on the ear, the distant triumph song.
And hearts are brave again, and arms are strong.”