Read Me a Story

My Dad read to me a lot while I was growing up. First, he read me children’s books and then as I grew, we would take turns reading chapter books aloud in our living room. I remember many nights spent reading Roald Dahl books –  Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, James and the Giant Peach, and The Fantastic Mr. Fox.  We read Tolkien together too in addition to the armfuls of chapter books I devoured on my own each month.

Then, when I was nine years old, I wrote on my Christmas list that I would like a baby brother. As luck would have it, Santa obliged! Soon my baby brother Eric arrived and in turn, a second round of children’s stories were read aloud in our home. I can’t tell you how comforting it was to return to the sound of those stories while in the mire of my middle school days. I didn’t realize how much I had missed them.

When it came time for me to read Canterbury Tales in my high school English class, my Dad and I read some of that aloud at home together too. I can still remember my Dad’s deep voice wrapping around Chaucer’s famous prologue…”Whan that Aprille with his shoures soote the droghte of Marche hath perced to the roote.”

I soon went on to college and, to no one’s surprise, I declared myself an English major. I’ve paged through an enormous amount of literature in my life and layering my life with stories was the best thing my Dad ever did for me. I am now grown, married to a wonderful husband, and we have raised two sweet daughters of our own who my Dad spent many hours reading to as well.

Today, I find the calendar will soon arrive upon the first anniversary of my father’s death. He spent the last years of his life struggling from severe illness. He spent the last few days of his life in ICU and then finally Hospice. His last conscious night was spent in ICU with me sitting beside him, quietly praying, trying to be strong but not really knowing what to do. Our ICU nurse asked my Dad if he would like to listen to music, and yes, he thought that would be nice. So she graciously let her phone play by request through the night as my Dad drifted away.

I just now realized he might have liked to hear a story.

It’s good to enter life with a story, it’s good to go through life with a story, and it’s good to leave life with a story too. – Holly Hinckle Flint

In memory of Craig D. Hinckle, born into this world in Rutherford, New Jersey, November of 1940, departed this world in Kennesaw, Georgia, March of 2014.

IMG_1467
My Dad and I outside our home on Prospect Place, Rutherford, NJ in 1968
Advertisements

Chalk Drawing

Do you remember that TV show Simon in the Land of Chalk Drawings? Where Simon would draw on his bedroom chalk board and when done, he would climb his special ladder, look over the fence into The Land of Chalk Drawings, and see what impact his drawing had on their world?

When I look at chalk drawings, I wonder beyond my world into imaginary lands too. I was drawn into the driveway designs created just outside my front door this Easter evening by my daughter, niece,and nephew.

20130331-213417.jpgIt’s a blue sky, tire-swinging kind of day in driveway world. Apples hang on the boughs of a giant tree that this little cosmos is centered upon. It’s a world where beehives buzz and butterflies brighten the day. That’s a blue dinosaur under the beehive by the way. Of course.

Roots grow deep and strong into the grassy green hillside. A lone flower in full bloom stands at the foot of the hill. What animals might be scurrying just inside the tree trunk door?

20130331-213455.jpg

Twilight falls, and all that is left of the chunky green chalk lays in dust upon her hands.