Sunday, April 25, 2010


Prescience is a strange word. Sounds like precious. Well, prescience would be more precious if it could be controlled. But, in my experience...
having or showing knowledge of events before they take place, as in a prescient warning,
has never been something I can bring to bear before the fact. Probably just as well.

While I was painting the pastel of the Maine shore, and certainly while I was writing the particulars about how to build a clambake, I was thinking about my dad. With his 90th birthday coming in June and his age wearing him down, I could hear a growing distance in his voice each time I called home. I knew he'd enjoy the painting and perhaps recognize himself in the post as the bake master. But while I worked on it, that "precious" feeling stirred in my gut now and then. I tried hurling a "NO!" or two at it, as if wishing would make it so, but it wouldn't go away. As my sister said, his old heart finally gave up, and he died on Friday.

I could, of course, go on at some length about him because he was a great man and a wonderful dad, but I won't for now. I will say, however, that both he and my mother (who survives at almost 90, is quite the phenom in her own right, and might be the bravest person I'll ever know) hoped that the day will come when death is as respected as much as life and be allowed to be what it is. Nuff sed. They both make me wicked proud to be a Down Easter.

I mention my dad's death here for these reasons:

I owe him for who I am. Having him here made me who I am, and his absence will change me. Some of my creative self is in this blog, so I'd like to think it's a place he can be proud of and that he can always be found here.

Some of you have also recently used your blogs to mark the passing of the people who brought you here. It was a loving thing to do, and many of us were honored to help you carry the water.

My father, as they say, left his affairs in order, including writing his own obit for the newspaper. My mother says it's funny, and I'm sure it's modest, too. For my part, I think my description of a bake master is worth adding to his admirable list of accomplishments.


Jala Pfaff said...

Very sorry...hang in there and take care.
Love, Jazz and Mojito

Melinda said...

I'd like to join with you and your family in honoring your father's life by writing that, your description of him is moving in its sincerity and that this must mean his life and works were very, very special.

I'm sorry for your loss, but know that you will continue to celebrate his life by living well, sharing stories about him, and by expressing all the good that you inherited from his DNA.

Bet he's proud of you, too.

Anonymous said...

That he went with humor and responsibility towards his family says so much about who he was and what you have inherited from him.
A very sad time, indeed.
As well for your mother. How to define who you are after 60 plus years with one person.
So very sorry.
So very hard.

Janelle Goodwin said...

So sorry to hear of your loss. It sounds like your dad was a wonderful man.

Katherine van Schoonhoven said...

I am so sorry to hear about your father, Sam! You honor him in many ways, but especially by being his daughter. Thinking of you. Katherine

Sara said...

You brought tears to my eyes Sam!!! Jackson and I are thinking of you.

SamArtDog said...

Thanks, everybody, for your kind words. They matter to me a lot. Like I've said before (sort of), Blogtown is a wonderful place.

loriann said...

Sam, I am so sorry to hear about your Dad's passing. I am certain he was wicked proud of you- every part of you, who you are as a person, your Down East spirit, your art, your dry sense of humor, your love of animals (especially dogs) and your directness. Your Dad seems like an amazing surprise there. No matter how old are parents live to be it is always too soon. Take care of yourself,
Hugs, loriann

Jala Pfaff said...

Post a photo of your dad/parents on this?

SamArtDog said...

Thanks for that last bit of advice. It's a good one and I needed it.

cohen labelle said...

I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your beloved father. When I read your post yesterday it reminded me of my own dad and his passing some years ago. It’s a blow to lose a parent – for awhile so very numbing, so I know how it feels. I don’t doubt that the hauntingly beautiful painting you did from memory the other day, is in some way a reflection of the deep love you have for your dad. It seemed to me much more than just a landscape. And I’ve been reading and rereading your piece on the clambake – it is an extraordinary fine piece of writing and also must reflect and express the √©lan that has been passed down from you father to you!

Please take care!

Astrid Volquardsen said...

I'm very sorry for your loss Sam. Using your creativity to honour your dad is the most beautiful thing one can do, because it's so authentic and shows your deep love and affection for him.
My prayers are with you and your family.

Don Gray said...

Sam, what a beautiful, loving tribute to your parents. My deepest sympathy for the loss of your father.

Anonymous said...

I came in here via Bonnie Luria's blog. I'm so sorry to read of your dad's death. It's very difficult to lose a parent, both mine are gone so I've been through it twice. I'm glad that you feel he will live on through your creativity, I'm sure he will.

From time to time, I honour my parents by remembering what it was that they loved in the way of music and put on something that the parts of them which live inside me, will enjoy. Art works like that too.


SamArtDog said...

Thanks a lot, Val. I've noticed the absurdoldbird on Bonnie's blog; great handle!

My dad loved(s) music.