Friday, November 14, 2008

We Remain Upright

Arthur and I were in the car waiting for Henry to get out of his kindergarten class. The minivans and SUV's were lined up obediently. Henry was ushered out of the building, his eyes toward the ground he nodded imperceptibly to the teacher as she complimented him on his hard work that day.

He got in the car, placed his canvas school bag on the seat next to him, buckled himself up and leaned over to his brother.

"Arthur, when are you going to start using the toilet?" he asked.

"When my daddy gets back," Arthur answered.

"Arthur, Daddy is dead. It makes us all sad. I still cry about it sometimes, but he is on Dog Mountain now. And also in the dining room-in that thing on the shelf-you know. So he isn't coming back, Arthur. But you still have to use the toilet."

Arthur answered simply; "I know, Henry."

Glancing in the rear view mirror I saw their two blonde heads leaning towards each other. Both sets of blue eyes gazed out their own window. Henry sounded as if he had been thinking about the conversation for days and had chosen his words carefully. Just as his dad would have done.

At the time Henry shared this straightforward bit of advice with his younger brother he was six years old. Arthur was three and their dad had been dead almost three years.

Their dad, my husband, died early in the morning on March 29, 2004

This is our story.

Irene McGoldrick


  1. That is a great start to your Blog. I still get caught up after having read it so many times.

  2. Way to go Irene. I can't tell you how glad I am that you've started this blog...knowing your aversion to all things technological. The worst thing that could happen is that nobody reads it...and I know you're probably secretly wishing that will be the case (ha ha). And the best thing that can happen is you end up starting a community (hopefully not an "intentional" one)...remember that conversation?
    I agree with've chosen a fantastic first entry.

  3. Hey Irene,
    I can't wait to read the rest of the book, you have a great way with words. Best wishes in your writing!

  4. Wow Irene. I am sitting here at work with tears in my eyes. I look forward to reading all your posts. You have such a way with words and bringing your story to life.


  5. read jim stingl's column in yesterdays paper - i knew bob in school (1st grade thru h.s. graduation). i am learning more about him now - just logged onto your blog for the first time, and i plan on buying your book. i am touched by the way your family has carried on - it is inspirational even to those of us who have not experienced the loss of a spouse. it seems silly to offer condolences/sympathy at this late date - so instead, i offer my encouragement and kudos; keep on doin' what you're doin' - i am sure you are making bob proud
    Colleen (Jacobson) Yaggie