Friday, May 19, 2006

Illustration Friday - Sorry

The night was cool
when I walked up the steps to your room…

It took me years to do it…
but I finally got the nerve to hold your hand.

It was something that I had to do.
I had only recently gotten comfortable
with telling you that I loved you.

Up until a few months ago
it was unspoken but I always knew.
I could see it in your blue eyes.
Blue like the sky and every bit as deep.


And as I took your hand in the darkness,
I could feel your heart beating with mine…
slow and steady and time seemed to stop…
and part of me, the selfish part,
wanted to hold on to that moment forever…
hold on and never let go.


So I held your hand in the dark.
Your hand was so soft, but too warm for December…
no words spoken…
then I, too, closed my eyes
and let the memories of the times we shared flood over me
and I wondered why this moment
had taken so long to arrive.


Was it only yesterday that I picked you up
and carried you through the door and put you in your bed?
Or was it a week ago?
Time slips in times likes these. Peace settles in.
And the night begins to play its tricks on you.
So I held your hand, this one last time,
and one last time I turned to you for strength
because I knew you could hold this reality together.
You were always the strong and sensible one.
The magical one who could do anything by shear will.

And I held your hand.


Then time slipped away… like the beating of your heart,
there in my hand… and it was time for me
to walk out that very door I had carried you through.
Time to leave you there with your wife one last time.


I started out with a new illustration but I ended up thinking about the death of my father and the words just started flowing. And I thought about the last time I saw my father alive. I was young, but not as young as the self-portrait I did almost thirty years ago. But it seemed to fit because I drew that when I was seventeen after having one of those run-ins seventeen-year-old boys inevitably have with their fathers.

And how does this all tie in to this week's Illustration Friday topic? I'm just sorry I didn't appreciate him more when he was here.

35 comments:

frank h said...

beautiful ... and sad, but beautiful.

let me share your feelings.

michael dailey said...

nicely done. i know the feeling, for me it stays right below the surface.

AscenderRisesAbove said...

wonderful tribute to your dad. I am sure he sees it and is smiling down on you and radiating you with love

Janet said...

Beautiful, and sad, and touching!

The Tart said...

Wonderful post! Great self portrait.

Strange, I have been thinking about my Dad, he died when I was 10. I have great memories of him, so that's nice! ; )

Big smooch,
The Tart

BTW ... so glad U drop by my place. Where in the sunshine state R U? Can U share? North or South?

Brenda said...

I'm pretty much dumbfounded. It's beautiful in the most sorrowful way.

Twisselman said...

Wonderful illustration. The look in the eyes is haunting. Lost my father twenty-eight years ago, just after I got out of college. He was pretty sick the last year, and we had some good talks.

Teri C said...

This is just beautiful! The words are so powerful and the image is touching. I am so happy you shared this wonderful piece. Thank you.

Michael O'Connell said...

pbmvtrto all my online friends… thank you all for letting me share with you… i normally wouldn't consider myself as muchg of a writer, but in this cacse, when the words started flowing it was if I was on auto pilot… and i am sure, all your fathers who have gone on already, i'm sure they are all very happy and smiling down on all of ya…

and to the tart… i'm in the biggest city in the u.s… it used to be the biggest in the world but mexico city and tokyo passed us up a while back… many people call us south georgia…

Lori Witzel said...

Michael...have you seen my blogfriend Thomas Campi's post here?

http://thomascampi.blogspot.com/2006/
05/buonanotte-goodnight.html

Your heartfelt rendering/post resonates and echoes off his.

Very fine...and thanks for your visits! Mind if i link to you, so I'll remember to come back by more often?

Kaya said...

Well thanks for making me CRY. Great illustration, brimming with feeling. And the writing? Well, you know. *sobs*

Tony LaRocca said...

Beautiful work and story. It's hard to realize how much people mean to us before they're gone.

Debra Cooper said...

Very moving words and nice of you to share.

The Unknown said...

Great, great stuff. Powerful.
love

gudbrandsdottir said...

Great drawing, strong and sad words. Very touching! -I too know that feeling.

Cez said...

beautiful drawing...love it

carla said...

Michael - this brought tears to my eyes. It reminded me of the last time I saw my father, the night before he passed away. He had been very ill, and had started falling down a lot. That evening, my mother called me to come over and help him up because he had collapsed trying to go up the stairs. I drove over, helped him up, and brought him to the kitchen table where my mother served him dinner. I had a lot of work to do for the next day, so I kissed him on the top of his head and went home. The next morning at work, my brother called and said my father had died...my mother had gone to wake him up, and apparently he had passed between the time she got up and the time she went to wake him. He had a smile on his face. You know, there are so many things to be sorry for when a parent dies...we go over all the bad things we could have done differently...but in the end, there's a whole lifetime to be happy about. Your words and the portrait of the young you are so poignant, and they touched me.

kj said...

michael, i don't know you but am touched by your tribute to your father. i think there is a secret membership for those of us who have lost our fathers..

i am a writer. i encourage you to keep writer. like your illustrations, the muse comes from within,

best wishes, kj

HARDWAX said...

That is a beautiful sketch and the words are hard to read. Thanks for sharing this, i'm sure it could not have been easy.

Katili said...

Awh, it's so touching and full of feeling. When younger I almost managed to destroy my relationship with my mother, but the faith put its finger to the game and I have had the opportunity to receive good years with this amazing woman. But without those fingers of faith I'm sure we'd still keep our distances.

Your writing is very poetic and dreamlike. May be by working like this it's possible for you to forgive yourself, after all you were just a child and did nothing really wrong.

steve said...

This is awesome--the words and picture--very touching stuff. Great work!

Alina Chau said...

beautiful and expressive. A very touching piece!

Cez said...

Thanks for coming on my blog...there kind of people who don't appreciate my humor...and I'm proud of me to tell them "fuck"...lol
I love your work!!!!

andrea said...

Lovely sentiment, poignantly written, and you definitely caught the era with your self-portrait! My first thought was that the figure could be from the '70s -- and sure enough it was!

tiffinix said...

Beautiful illustration and sad and very touching story. Your writing is so good.

aynaku said...

beatiful, sad and touching...somehow it reminds me my father's death a few years ago...great drw sd well...and thanx for your comment

TXArtcGal said...

I am now in tears after reading your thoughts. I lost my mother when I was young (she was barely 43)...and, now that I am older and wiser, and her age...I look back and always wish I had not been afraid to share my deeper feelings with her. I guess this is why I speak openly and honestly with my own teen daughter...life can be taken away at any moment.

Your self-portrait is awesome, and the look in your eyes are amazing.

Geninne said...

WOW Michael, this is amazing, powerful and so nostalgic...Thanks 4 sharing this with us.
Your self portrait is awesome.

IdiotHead said...

Great illustration. Greater poem/story. Reminds me of the song "The Living Years" by Mike and the Mechanics. Take the time while you have the time.
8^)

Jeff said...

Wow...this one hits close to home for me. Makes me think of my own dad, actually, and I'm feeling the same emotions/thoughts. Hmmm.

ValGalArt said...

michael this is so heartfelt and beautiful and it made me tear up. Truly an inspired drawing and your writing is so from the heart! Love this!!!

Roz Foster said...

All right. You've made me cry.... Thanks for sharing this beautiful, heartfelt story.

Amy Zaleski said...

Beautiful words and portrait.

Pickledog said...

Very powerful post, and a beautiful illustration. Thank you for sharing tribute.

Marilyn said...

Gorgeous self-portrait and sensitive expression of your feelings toward your father...thanks for sharing.