Monday, March 19, 2012

5:55 AM

We sat on the edge of the bed, my father and I. He had suggested that we watch the clock turn to 5:55. Patterns in numbers have always interested him, be it a clock or an odometer. We still had a few minutes until the three red numerals became identical, and we talked about things as they once were, and about his father. We talked of life, and how he was proud of his children, and how my mom was recuperating from her own health challenges. 

Minutes earlier I had lifted my father off the bathroom floor, his legs no longer able to hold him up as they had for the last eight decades. But now as the clock turned to 5:55, we both knew it was time. Time to let others help him with things that were once easy, once simple, and once done without effort. 

I will treasure this moment with my father, our talk of happier times. And as the clock changed to 5:56 I helped him back under his covers, tucked him in, and gently kissed his cheek.  

            -Chris Humphrey


  1. Love to you all, love to you all....

  2. Once again, bringing me to tears. Your parents are wonderful, and I know they're so grateful you all are there with them... Yes--love to you all...


  3. Exquisite writing all the way around, and forward and back. A sad time, but how fortunate to have family.


  4. You are smart to treasure these moments.
    Continued love to all of you,
    Mary Jo

  5. Thanks for sharing all this, Chris

  6. thanks for capturing the moment and sharing it with us

    denise f

  7. Beautifully said, Chris.

  8. Chris,
    That's beautiful. And I know from talking to Bob yesterday on the phone, that he is VERY proud of you, Susan and Tim. All of you remain in our prayers and thoughts.
    Susie and Bill

  9. You have literally given us the blessing of a MOMENT in time.

    You are a family of wise and gentle teachers. Thank you for sharing.

    May you have the tiniest sense of how much love surrounds you.

  10. Bless you all ! A Non Y Mouse LaVona

  11. Your lovely message today really pulled at my heartstrings....Sad yet beautiful in the wisdom it conveyed. Ask all the questions you can think of because if you are like many of us, you will wish you had in the future (hopefully far future). I wish I could bundle up all my prayers and wishes and brng the to Windsor Manor in a wheelbarrow, but they are not tangible so will have to convey them by email. Jane and Mr. Bob are so fortunate to have you three offspring who are so supportive and present as much as you can be...and you three are fortunate to be there for each other as well as for them.

  12. Just sobbing here...

    I can't help it. Never 'met' you all in 'real life' but we do know a piece of you...those of us out here.

    So fresh in my mind is this struggle and grief that all I can do is wish you all some ease and mostly just some peace.

    Stay strong together, stay together...knowing that you are cared for by many, but by each other.

    If there is anything that can be done, ask your audience, I'm sure it would happen a dozen times over with haste and pure joy.

    Bob & Jane, I wish you comfort, peace & love on this leg of your journey.

    It is with great empathy, I wish you all, your children, & your loved ones.


    ps: regularly I catch time turn 012345 (among others) - dad and I would often have these same talks about time, you brought back a happy memory....thank you

  13. I cried too, your father has such a sweet smile and sense of humor. I'll add him to Jane in my prayer list. I saw you two today in the tea room but didn't speak. Just don't want to intrude on your space. But by posting this, you've helped us all feel a part of your family.Had seen it I would have asked questions. Blessings on all of you. Please keep up the news alerts.
    Neighbor #409

  14. I am with Ember and the others. You chose a remarkable moment to describe.

  15. I am so grateful to have shared your life and had the opportunity to know all of you, whether in person or here on this blog in pictures. This post was beautiful.

  16. O.K. Now I'm crying. Oh, Chris. Apparently the writing gene is potent in the Humphrey clan. So beautiful. Please give my love to both of your parents. I know how difficult what you're ALL going through is. Sending online hugs. XO

  17. All I can send is my heart.....but I guess I can't do that either, for you two, Jane and Mr. Bob, have stolen it years ago.

    I reflect the comments of Ember and also of Rusti.

    I just love you guys so very much. Please know I wish I was there to help, to comfort and to very very gently hug.

    Thanks Chris for this....Susan and Tim...always.

    God Bless you..

  18. Dave & ShirleyMarch 20, 2012 at 10:26 PM

    This is real...what a wonderful way for all of us to join the family through these trying times. I have faith that our dear friends will join us in a lookback at the classic and classy way your admirers were able to follow your progress. We all should be so lucky to have such family support. See you soon.

  19. What a special moment with your Dad. So glad you put it into beautiful words. We send loving wishes to your whole family. God Bless you all. Gloria and George

  20. Thank you. I'm sorry this is happening, for all of you. Wishing comfort, Jeannie

  21. ps Glad you are still making memories together, Chris. You described it beautifully.
    Love to all your family, Jeannie

  22. As i read this again, I see what everyone hopes for in times like this. The truth as it is unfolding in all it's often times sad unfolding. Your Dad is a kind gentle man and it sure looks like you and your brother are following in his path. How lucky are we to be allowed to join you on this journey. Your parents are truly special, delightful souls.