Wednesday, 25 May 2016

The Day, The World Changed (May 25, 2016)

Every June
The family
Used to gathered
Into one spot.

A hundred or so
Of us.

The anniversary
Of our (1952) arrival
In Canada
From The Nederland.

From toddlers
To senior citizens
And every age

A shortage
Of eyes
To look after
The smaller children.

As various games
And activities
Were planned
For everyone.

February 2, 1984.

Marking the day
The laughter died
With my opa's death.

Opa loved
To play jokes
On us
And great grandchildren.

His face
Would light up
Like a Canada Day
Fireworks display
With his toothless smile.

It's all faded away
Into memories.

Like the fall leaves
In a brisk October breeze
The family drifted
In its own way.

Within this grief
Was my birthday
I never had.

The unwanted present
Of a prolong depression
I struggle with
As a result.

Therisa © 2016

Author's note: One of the biggest lessons, I learnt, as a child growing up, surrounded around the family, and how it came first. Sadly, with opa's death (1984 )and oma's death (1996), the extended family broke down and drifted apart. Only gathering together, for deaths and weddings.

Truthfully, I never really felt comfortable, during these annual gathering, and never knew why, until now. They triggered, within me, a mild anxiety attack, with so many people, in a small space.


  1. Cherish the good in the memory. It shaped your life too and can eventually obscure the darkness of the depression. Take care.

  2. Oh therisa, I am so so sorry for your pain and loss.. beautiful poem.
    Big hugs to you.

  3. "His face
    Would light up
    Like a Canada Day
    Fireworks display . . ." Now this is a sweetness in memory. It can't make up for that day of loss, but it is something to build on for happier birthdays It sounds, though, as if he was a major force in the gathering of 100 relatives. Maybe there is no one else who could pull the tradition together with such fun and joy.

  4. You had such a big family, Therisa. How wonderful. I resonate, as our family always gathered around my grandma and grandpa's lives and once my grandpa died and my grandma went into a nursing home, the family gatherings were no more. I missed them, till I had my own kids and then my mom and stepdad would come and we'd gather at my place. I can see your grandfather's face lighting up. My grandpa was quiet and a bit gruff, but he had the tenderest heart for children. His face would light up too, and he would fight back tears, at our innocence, and the harshness of our lives with our families of origin.

  5. It's amazing what memories do, what feelings our grandparents have given.
    But anxiety in crowds, I can completely understand that.

  6. I love the stark honesty in your lines that always takes one deeper beyond words. I feel loving memory of 'opa' might help you transcend the lost world.

  7. The dutiful family often wait for such departures to say enough is enough. It is sadly in our nature to slowly drift apart often for our own good. Being the "opa" in my family I also wonder whether that will be case when I go too.

  8. Depression is indeed an unwanted present.. and i can see hoe such a gathering would feel overwhelming.. you have captured both then and now very carefully..

  9. I know how you feel. When my grandma and grandpa died there were no more summer gatherings at the lake. I lived for those summers and they are my fondest memories to this day. The lake is still there, but the family let go of that house and it is forever changed.

    Depression is a hard thing to beat but believe me it can be beat. Exercise was the way for me it really works but it takes persistence and work. What is gained is so worth it. The hurt never goes away but with depression lifted the memories become fond and not so hurtful.

    I wish only the best for you!


Featured post

Chance Encounter (March 13, 2017)

July 21, 2006. A date Forever etched Into my memory. As if Done by A laser. By mistake And pure chance. I enter...