I always thought that I acquired my gift of writing from my mother because she always kept a journal and I knew that she loved to write. It wasn’t until my father, as he began to age, passed along some of his writings to me that I became aware that it was his passion that I inherited. I was instantly transported to the time and place in his short essays and recognized the similarities in our writing styles. I now know that my love for words and my lyrical style was passed to me from Dad. I read this short essay at his memorial service this past Saturday (more to come about that) and several people have asked for a copy of it, so I am posting it on my blog. It was one of many small glimpses into the sensitive side of my dad that until his later years, was only uncovered in his writing. I can’t wait to put all of his thoughts into book form but for now, I’ll share one of my favorites so far:
In the middle of a street in Camden, NJ
Four of my grandchildren came to visit me on my 69th birthday, Jameel, Aamir, Naim and Hammad. They brought me a cake, a shirt, a food mixer, a birthday card and their wonderful company. As we laughed and talked together my mind began to rewind , but first I thought about my other four grandchildren and my great-granddaughter. After my grandkids had left, I looked at all their pictures and my mind lapsed again and tears came as I thought about a time long ago when two young people stood in the middle of a small Camden, NJ street. It must have rained that day as I remember the street glistened. They had been on her porch when she suggested that they take a walk. The young couple walked hand in hand down the sidewalk and started across the street when the girl stopped, looked up at the boy with tears in her eyes and said “ I’ve missed my period.” She put her head on his chest and sobbed. He imagined she thought he might leave her. His head was whirling. He thought , how’s he gonna support a wife and kid when he can’t support himself and then thought about the doctor at Hamilton Air Force Base in California who told him that because of the VD he had contracted overseas, he could never have children. So was this his child?? But when he looked down into the big wet eyes of HIS girl who was having HIS child, he kissed her, smiled and said “let’s get out of the street”. Well, they walked and talked, kissed and held each other. Two young people, in love, who didn’t have a clue how life was going to treat them but they started out together. So as I look at all these people we’re responsible for – four children, eight grandchildren, and one great-grandchild – 13 people who came here because of those two young lovers in the middle of a Camden street beginning to learn about life. The tears really begin to fall as I think “Well, ‘Fat Cheeks’, we didn’t do so bad, not bad at all!”
Written by Jabez T. Austin Jr
nothing like that old school love!
True love never dies… 🙂
Oh My God! That’s so beautiful & I’m sorry but I love that he married her. That’s what I call manning up not that a couple is wrong if they don’t but its nice that he had her back.
Thanks Liz. I thought it was such a touching piece and I am thankful he made the choice he did. 🙂