Bittersweet Moments

Help me welcome Slim Randles as today’s Wednesday’s Guest. 

Today he is sharing kind of a sad essay, but it also a very thoughtful piece. I know that feeling of being able to face the day much better after a bit of fresh air and contemplation of the beauty in the world. That can chase the melancholy away in a heartbeat. Try it sometime.

A recent sunrise at Grandma’s Ranch.


   It was strange, Doc thought. All these years. All these people.

It still hurts.

Old Tom had died around midnight, and Doc didn’t get more than an hour’s sleep since then. Just before he went, Tom reached out and gripped Doc’s hand and thanked him for everything. He was smiling when he went.

Somehow that made it worse for Doc than just having death bring a pleasant new start for someone in pain and agony.  Doc hadn’t been able to patch him up this time. When someone Tom’s age has his organs shut down, there just isn’t much a doctor can do but make him comfortable and say goodbye.

The percolator finished, and Doc knew he should go get a cup and start the day, but something made him leave the coffee behind and walk into the back yard.

He would come out here later, too, he knew. He wasn’t in the mood for coffee with the boys at the Mule Barn today.

This will be a day where Doc, quietly and alone, will raise his coffee cup to Tom. And after 9:30, he’ll be able to hear the little girls screaming happily on the playground at the school, three blocks away.

Yes, he thinks that’s the way to start this day, listening to the happiness of children and watching the life around him. And sipping coffee in the back yard.

Just Doc and Old Tom.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Listen to Home Country come to life on the radio. Check your local classic country station for the times. Doesn’t cost them a thing, either.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Slim Randles writes a nationally syndicated column, “Home Country” and is the author of a number of books including  Saddle Up: A Cowboy Guide to Writing. That title, and others, are published by  LPD Press.
If you enjoy his columns here, you might want to check out the book Home Country. It has some of the best of his offerings through the years.

6 thoughts on “Bittersweet Moments”

  1. When I read this, with a fresh cup of morning coffee, my mind began to wander. This was way to close to my heart and the tears flowed! Your sunrise is awesome and brought back fond memories.

    1. Tears flowed down here, too. I never know what the topic will be for each week from Slim until I look at the piece just before posting it. Somehow he always manages to touch my heart or my funny bone. These sunrises will be greatly missed. Won’t see anything like this at my new home. Not as much wide open space.

  2. OH MY GOODNESSES…well… as always, just like my pa, always a lot to say. I wonder what he would have to say about your post. Actually, I believe he knows …

    To think that I was going to e-mail mother, but truly compelled to check your site. At a late hour as such…

    ‘Not more than an hours sleep’. Reminds me of two nights past. I only have one regret…dad was not able to hold and be with my ‘miracle.’

    That being said (forgive me if I have many typos…I only have my right paw and index finger on the other)…

    …To have a special one no longer by your side, someone you always ‘thought’ would be there, someone who you thought that YOU would ‘go first’.

    Life surely surprises one. Primarily when things, events, dates, makes one recollect on such an occasion.

    I still smell DEATH…

    It was his time, just as in your post.
    Dad’s organ’s had been going to sleep long before any knew. He is stubborn, as his daughter. He dreamed of the best for his family and he SUCCEEDED…HOO YAH 🙂

    But that cup of coffee at the table, watching the sun rise… will NEVER be able to be replaced, with the memories shared by all who are able to fathom any sense of empathy from your post.

    Still, the hand of coming death is one to never be mistaken for, but to grab hold of and keep in one’s heart.

    This I have done. This is why I feel him so, especially in the past and coming days. Dad’s hand of death taught me more than he did while growing up.

    The FEELING of him ‘telling’ me through the ‘touch’ I often never had as a child, I carry with me.

    I should cry…but I now smile, I love him and all he did what he was able to do with what our family had. (I’ll cry later…)

    So much ‘better’ to have
    the ‘the giving hand of death’ look you in the eye one last time, especially on one’s BIRTHDAY///at high noon…….dad NEVER gave up.

    He kept his word until he sat up, opened his eyes…in order to look at his beloved, beautiful wife.

    ‘I love you.’

    Eyes went shut and he was finally entering those ‘pearly gates’ he always talked about.
    Yes… the organs shut down…it may take time, depends on one’s situation of life, but it will happen. Depends on what one has put the self through; environment, various situations, and the like.

    Many do NOT understand such dynamics of life…

    … my father did.

    1. One certainly does learn a lot by sharing the journey from life to death, and I am so glad you had those last weeks and days with your father, Sheila. You both were able to heal old wounds and forge stronger bonds while you were both able to share through words and touch. That is the greatest gift one can have. When you can take a deep breath, focus your thinking, you will have much more to write about.

      1. Thanks Maryann, and yes, I most certainly will have much more to write 🙂 I Hard to imagine it’s going on SIX years!!!! Take care in your ventures 🙂

  3. I know. And the passage of time does not diminish the loss. We just learn how to live despite the hole in our lives. One step forward each day.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top
Scroll to Top