Bryan came to Father’s Day dinner on Sunday with a touching card he chose and a gift he purchased for his dad in hand. He was very excited to see his new nephew, sister and brother-in-law, as well as his aunt and uncle.
After the meal, Bryan and his dad singlehandedly cleared the dishes, put away the food and cleaned up the table for dessert. We teased him that the only reason he helps is so he can get to dessert sooner. Of course, he helps because that is who he is – always the first to pitch in and get things done. But he DOES love his desserts and I had made his favorite – Oreo Ice Cream Cake – so he had a reason to double-time the clean up.
Following the meal and gift giving, we traveled over to the Newtown Friend’s Meeting House Cemetery, where Bryan’s paternal grandfather, Wilbur Johnson, is interred. The cemetery is directly behind the home which was Bryan’s first abode for three years – our first house which we had built on a subdivided lot behind the historic Edward Hicks house in Newtown. That stone farmhouse was lovingly restored by Bryan’s grandparents in the 1950’s. The Johnson family had close ties to many friends who were Friends and attended that Meeting House. They obtained special dispensation to be interred in the Friends Cemetery because of those connections.
We stood around Dad’s grave as Bryan solemnly placed the flag in the military holder at the site. Grandfather Johnson was in the army in World War II. After the solemn ceremony, Bryan saluted proudly. He was there on that wintry December day in 2003 when the only grandfather he knew was laid to rest. Nineteen years later, he still feels the loss, but still recalls Dad’s funny “catch phrases” when we are all together, giving us a chuckle and a glow of remembrance which the rest of us have long forgotten.
Thank you, son, for honoring your ancestors in such a way and in keeping the fun times alive through your recollections of family times long ago.