Monday, January 21, 2013

I wonder....

Durward Wayne Clark
January 20, 1933 - February 10, 1970

This is my dad's senior portrait. He grew up in a Norman Rockwell-like small Indiana town, served in the US Navy, went to college, married and lived and had children and worked and led Bible studies, barbecued and gardened, loved his close and extended family well and died when he was 37 years, 21 days old. 

My brothers and I are now 16, 17 and 18 years older than he was when he died in a car accident coming home to our little house in the suburbs from Atlanta. We each talked to him on the phone that day when he didn't come home. Of course I have only the memories of a little girl. 

I wonder...

- what he would have thought of today's inaugural festivities
- if he would have played golf or bowled or traveled in retirement
- where his passions would have led his philanthropy
- what books would be on his nightstand
- who his friends would be
- how the not-perfectness of life would have effected him
- why in heaven's name he named me what he did

...and a million or so other things.

My brothers and I have been fortunate to have had two very kind men for stepfathers; beloved, wonderful and entertaining biological and step families who embraced us for real and modeled for us the spirit of adoption which molded our lives irrevocably.  In many ways our cups run over. 

But I can't help but wonder....

- what his face would have looked like when he saw our children
- what his advice would have been at our life crossroads 
- what he and Terry would talk about
- if he would still look at us with twinkling eyes
- if we'd argue politics or religion
- how we would have aged as a family

...and what it really would have been like to have grown up with him as our here-on-earth dad? 

Our funny granny used to comfort herself by saying, "in heaven everybody lives next door" whenever she missed someone dear who passed away or just moved away. 

I'm counting on being just down the hall, not all the way next door. 

So I can get all my questions answered. I think there will be bunk beds and a pink canopy. So we can all be together. 


  1. Oh Trudy!!!! How sweet and how true! Thank you so much for sharing.

  2. Ever so glad we will see our daddies again.

    This was a wonderful piece, so poignant, so eloquently Trudy.

    Love you, Donna

  3. Trudy, I'm reading this for the first time on August 10. What a wonderful, evocative piece. You refer to the good things that happened to you and your brothers, and it is true your cup has been filled. But I love the fact that you still miss your dad and all the good things which might have been...
    Your Grandma was right, of course, but I believe our grief is real and not mitigated by knowing we will see them again. Perhaps we will remember it even when we are having endless conversations with each other in the Sunlit Uplands, just as we will remember why Jesus died for us, and praise Him with a mixture of grief, joy and wonder. (Cowboy Fred)