my poppo would sit in the chair and gaze out at the lake behind their house. in the house before that, he would sit out on the lanai and gaze at the pool. in previous houses, he had chairs or his workbench, where he would sit or stand and gaze, clearly thinking, thinking, thinking.
now, when you’ve gotten to 91, there’s plenty to think about, many memories, many stages of life, many ways the world has changed. my poppo was a POW in world war II, escaping and coming back at a time that PTSD had little to no attention given to it. the atrocities he had experienced were his alone to process, with the help of my sweet momma, if he felt that he could burden her with it. my parents lost a child, a little girl named barbara lynn, who would be my oldest sister – even older than my sister sharyn! – while my dad was still missing in action, a little person, a part of him, he never met. i know that as they established themselves as a family, there were challenges that befell them, joys that they cherished, times of much sorrow, small moments and large moments of laughter and goodness. plenty to think about.
i always wondered what my poppo was thinking about, quietly sitting or puttering. sometimes i would ask, but other times i would respect his quiet-ness. now that i am getting older, i find myself spending time quietly thinking. memories, moments, decisions, good things, sad things, questions, things that make me cringe, things that make me laugh aloud. i think about what’s coming up…what is planned, what will remain a mystery. i wonder. i give thanks. i pray. pondering is a good thing. it’s necessary.
each time now when i sit outside or inside curled in a chair and find myself just staring off into space, i can’t help but think about my daddy. and i kind of feel him right there, quietly staring with me. pondering.
pondering life is a very useful thing to do. ©️ 2016 david robinson & kerri sherwood