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My Fathers Voice

Timber found some VHS tapes today in the basement that were taken during our wedding in 1990. The tapes are hours long — the rehersal dinner, the wedding, the reception.  We played them on her little TV we bought at the thrift store for $8.00.

Timber never met my father. My father died in March of 1998. Timber was born four years later. Of course, she never met him, he died before she born. But it never really occured to me that she never heard his voice.

Okay, I do have common sense. If he is dead, he is also not talking.

He did not pass away, or go on to his reward. He died, he is dead. And along that tangent, if you put your dog to sleep. He is also dead. He is not sleeping.

She had seen photographs of him. She knew what he looked like.  But it was a two dimensional grandfather.  I had memories of him that I could not share.  But when we watched the videos she could hear his voice. She could  see a three dimensional grandfather.

We could hear his voice.  That is what I miss. Hearing his voice. I left home when I was 20, and would call him every Sunday afternoon. The Sunday after he died, I picked up the phone to call him, and then remembered he was dead. The habit of calling 306-382-7933, was  more vivid than the memory of his open silent mouth in the quiet hospital room.

Sometimes I want to dial my old telephone number and ask for Bill. I like to think  all old phone numbers are sent on to heaven, and my dad would answer. A twilight zone of phone numbers.


About Pamela Hodges

My name is Pamela Hodges. I am a writer and an artist. I write to encourage and to bring laughter. I paint cats, draw cartoons and write books for children and grown ups.

You are an artist. Yes, you are. Really.

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  • Susan W A

    Dear Pamela,

    I decided to explore your archives, starting from the beginning. I’ll continue doing so little by little, like opening small gifts, treasuring the anticipation of discovery.

    I’m commenting here on the connection of two posts … Joy and My father’s voice. First, how lovely that you had video of your father, including his voice. When my mother died, I kept her answering machine so I could hear her outgoing message. “You have reached 377-7647. We are unavailable to take your call right now. Please leave a message, and we will get back to you as soon as possible,” with the ideal lilting phone voice.

    My time to call my mother was when I was washing dishes! Always feeling like there wasn’t not enough time to get things done … a bit more organization would improve that situation : ) … I used to multi-task the phone call and the dishes. It became that whenever I washed the dishes, I would call her, and she would ask, “So are you doing the dishes?” with a smile in her voice. Now, I realize as I’m writing this, I don’t always think of my mom when I wash the dishes, but at those and other times, I do still reach for the phone to tell my mom some news, large or small. I’ve actually “assigned” my eldest cousin to be my surrogate for the “Oh, I’ve got to tell mom about this” moments. She’s gladly agreed, and is someone I trust not to judge me.

    Pamela, thank you for your reflections on life, and the gentle bobbing water current you place beneath me to carry me to my own musings.

    – Susan [swa 22 may 2016]

    • Hello Susan,
      Thank you for reading my stories and for sharing your memories of your mother with me. “So you are doing the dishes?” How sweet, the connection. And how thoughtful of your cousin to share your phone calls.
      Your mother sounds like a special woman. As you are.
      Thank you for being my friend.