An Artist's Quest

This is the Bed


This is the bed- painted 38 hours after my father death

This is the bed my parents put into the dream house they built together when they were in their fifties – like I am now. And this is the bed they slept in, she on the right and he on the left for twenty-eight of their sixty-one years of marriage. This is the bed my dad rose from early every morning to walk the rural road beyond their driveway. He rose from this bed for his walk every day, rain or shine, in sickness and in health to, with few excepts, walk his goal. While that goal got closer and closer to home over the years, he rose from this bed just the same even deep into his journey with the cancer. This is the bed my father lay down on each night to sleep, and dream and hold my mother close. This is the bed I joined my father in during his last week to snuggle and keep him warm while he dozed. This is the bed, on Sunday night, that my husband and I lifted him into for his last earthly sleep. This is the bed my mother curled up beside him and held his hand and stroked his cheek and hummed and sang and sang and sang. This is the bed I sat my chair beside and joined my mother’s song to comfort his journey, to settle his body, to release his soul. This is the bed my husband sat beside to join the vigil, while I spooned my mother’s tired body, as we sang until finally we just hummed. We hummed a like a mother to a restless baby, an ancient tone of comfort, in this bed we hummed my father through the threshold of this life to the next. This is the bed my mother laid beside by fathers body, his spirit released, one last time till they came to take that ravaged, tired body away. This is the bed I wept in, sliding my body into the divot my father, my daddy, left behind still warm from his last corporeal moments on this earth.

My sweet, loving, obstinate, loyal, opinionated, talented, strong, generous, complicated father – Dodd Thorpe – died in the arms of his wife, at 3:23 am, Monday September 26, 2016. May his spirit live on in us!


13 responses

  1. April

    What a lovely, complicated, lyrical way to honor your father. And your mother. You are blessed to have them as they are blessed to have you. Your father’s spirit is in every phrase, every image. Thank you for sharing this with all of us.

    September 28, 2016 at 2:26 am

  2. Gabriela

    My condolences

    What a beautiful tribute to him

    Mary van ouwerkerk


    September 28, 2016 at 6:40 am

  3. Judy Markoff

    Your thoughts…so loving and beautifully written…so hard to lose a loved one…he had a beautiful,peaceful ending with all of you with him…a lucky man. Please accept my deepest sympathies…Judy Markoff

    September 28, 2016 at 7:25 am

  4. Anne R. Blanton

    Oh Dear Dear Lisa, Your words are a hymn of praise to your amazing father- How beautiful that you were there to help midwife him into the mystery. Bless you as you feel him around you in new and profound ways. I lost my Daddy at 20- what a gift to have your Dad into your fifties. I feel your sorrow, may you be held in God’s loving wings. xx anne

    September 28, 2016 at 7:39 am

  5. carol Jones

    Lisa – what a truly devoted and selfless daughter you are. You have some wonderful memories to continue treasuring.

    On Wednesday, September 28, 2016, Lisa Thorpe’s Mandala Challenge wrote:

    > lisathorpeartist posted: ” This is the bed my parents put into the dream > house they built together when they were in their fifties – like I am now. > And this is the bed they slept in, she on the right and he on the left for > twenty-eight of their sixty-one years of marriage. This i” >

    September 28, 2016 at 7:54 am

  6. Jane

    Love and prayers to you and your mum and all who mourn with you. I never knew your dad but I know he was pretty special to have created a daughter as loving, talented and giving as you. Big hugs.

    September 28, 2016 at 7:57 am

  7. This is beautiful, Lisa. My heart goes out to you all. Your dad was so fortunate to pass on with such tremendous love surrounding him.

    September 28, 2016 at 11:04 am

  8. Kitty

    Your Father so blessed with the peace of his love ones by his side. Peace be with you, blessings.

    September 28, 2016 at 1:53 pm

  9. Valerie Hill

    That was a beautiful send off. We can all hope to be so surrounded with love.

    September 28, 2016 at 2:33 pm

  10. Barb Schaum

    A beautiful, spiritual tribute to your father and his family. Thank you.

    September 28, 2016 at 3:26 pm

  11. Nicole

    So beautiful and sad. Sending you love xoxo

    September 28, 2016 at 9:29 pm

  12. Jean

    Thank you for sharing these most intimate moments… I am so moved by your words

    September 29, 2016 at 8:39 am

  13. Jeanette

    Thank you for sharing your most personal love for your father and mother. I too shall miss him. We’ve been friends for nearly 50 years. When Bill died, Dodd took up calling to keep in touch and share the latest news of our families. These two men deliberately took up being very good friends and so too our families shared many fun times. I shall miss the calls, but it pleases me to know the guys are again sharing time as they serve Our Lord. Love you, Jeanette

    October 6, 2016 at 9:54 pm

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