He is from Indiana corn fields and blinking fireflies on
cool-moist summer nights.
He is from generations of adventurers,
farmers and teachers.
He is from Clarence Vespacian a.k.a. C.V. or Mike, and
Genevieve Mae a.k.a. G.G. or Genny.
He is from a passel of cousins with nicknames
He is from 100 years of family reunions with the
sweetest of tea and juiciest cherry pie, and croquet
wickets with balls whizzing by and uncles fiercely competing,
with peals of laughter from aunts.
He is from Red Ryder BB guns, razor straps and
slippery Dial soap after cuss-word-slipping (learned from C.V.)
He is from work hard, speak well,
mind your manners and pray.
He is from Trust in the Lord and Do Good.
He is from honor and respect and do-the-right-thing.
He is from razzing jokes and teasing;
from joy and ultimate optimism.
He is from service. And duty.
He is from Studebakers. And snow piled high over his head and
soaring from ski jumps on golf courses.
He is from caddying and playing and oh-so-wanting a pony.
He is from All Hail-ing James Monroe and Stand Up and Cheering Riley High.
He is from singing and violin-ing
and carefully crafted arguments
and winning debates.
He is from DePauw Tigers and from honored Rector Scholarship.
And he is from interruptions…and war.
He is from the U.S. Army and “Benning School for Boys.”
He is from marching and training
and “Lieutenant Egghead.”
He is from the pride of the 10th Mountain Division and
the chill of springtime in the Italian Alps and
dark mountain climbs
and DUKWs and lifelong comrades…and death.
And he is from the Bronze Star.
He is from resilience
He is from the GI Bill and study and achieving degrees.
He is from Miami, OSU, Purdue, OU and ASU. Teaching,
learning, leading, researching and pioneering.
He is from building bridges for students
and leading us across.
He is from volunteering and lobbying and believing
He is from a hot August wedding and a sewn-in bride.
He is from 61 years of real love and laughter.
And dancing in the kitchen.
From partnership and travels and parenting perils.
He is from stroke devastation, dedication and
23 years of care-give-ing.
He is from loving the prettiest girl in town and telling her so. Often.
He is from lines and leads, rehearsals and songs.
He is from fans from classroom to stage to TV.
He is from meet you at your level.
He is from classical music and “All Things Considered” and
fishing and galloping horses and ear-tagged cows.
He is from sycamores and buckeye trees, ferns and hayfields
He is from beaver dams and the hush of silent mist
slowly rolling across the valley.
And he is from freshly cut green Christmas trees from the farm.
He is from tearing down walls and building
He is from scorching desert days and
cool-dry desert nights.
He is from admiration for sunsets and
noticing the smallest of blossoms and the largest of moons.
He is from moment by moment
and living in now.
He is from glimpses of memories
gently moving from front to back.
He is from seeing and not
He is from musicals and baseball and “Where is Patricia, is she OK?”
He is from walking,
and walking. And strength.
And he is from his canine companion-friend-son.
He is from whistling I’m-ho-ome!
He is from dog-walks and cat-tails
and “Daddy, will you carry me?” from
four little girls.
He is from secure and safe
He is from compliments and hugs and
“That’s great, sweets!”
He is from dinner at home every night,
and pink sponge curlers in his hair.
He is from meeting our boyfriends and trips down the aisle.
He is from face lighting up at the sight of his girls and
happy grandchildren as he took them on twirls.
He is from appreciation and
He is from “Hang in there!” “Keep cool, but don’t freeze!” and “Don’t fight the problem.”
He is Dad, Daddy, Daddio – Par-Par and Pop. He is Grampa and Grampy
He is ours.
And we are his.
Photo Credit: Amy Goyer
Follow Amy on Twitter @amygoyer