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patterns of ink

How fruitless to be ever thinking yet never embrace a thought... to have the power to believe and believe it's all for naught. I, too, have reckoned time and truth (content to wonder if not think) in metaphors and meaning and endless patterns of ink. Perhaps a few may find their way to the world where others live, sharing not just thoughts I've gathered but those I wish to give. Tom Kapanka

Sunday, February 10, 2008


To those left listening
life seems to end
as if not quite complete
like the song of a music box
when the last note plinked
hangs all alone
and we’re left to finish
the melody from memory.
Sometimes though,
I’ve reason to believe,
when all have left the room,
the unwound spring
lets go a little more
‘til the last note
of the song is nudged
into the night
for God alone to hear.

© Copyright 2008, TK, Patterns of Ink
On behalf of my family, I'd like to thank you all for your continued prayers. Last evening's viewing was such a happy-sad time. We were so pleased that the skilled staff there at the funeral home were able to reflect Mom's beauty and the beauty of her spirit and the peace and rest she longed for. Even more pleasing was seeing Mom's beauty reflected in the hundreds of faces gathering in the room.
I sense that you understand that in these times somehow God gives strength that transcends the grief and transforms the place into a giant "living room," a non-stop flow of friends and family where hugs and tears and--best of all--laughs are mingled, and the hours are lost to the moment.

I know Bob will not mind my pointing out something that made us all smile when it occurred to us before the guests arrived at the funeral home ....
Last night as we were gathered there was the very night (57 years ago) when Bob made
the wedding cake told of in the series posted below. This realization was not the least bit awkward. In fact, it seemed perfect as Bob's and Mom's family were both there together, struck by God's providential timeline. Jim and Kathy requested that copies of "Visiting Home" be printed for our guests so that others could know how that act of kindness long ago ties perfectly into these last pages of Mom's story.
Today is the anniversary of the wedding day that began
Bringing Home the Duncan Phyfe. It is all the more fitting that on this day, we journey once again along that byway of our lives between Detroit and Port Huron, where our family's roots remained through all these years. This afternoon and evening in Mom's hometown marks the second day of visitation before Monday's service in the very church where Mom and Bob were married in May of 2001,
I hope these thoughts provide a sense of how your prayers are playing out in the real lives of people far away.


Sunday Update: Sunday's viewing in Port Huron was equally well attended as the one for our family circles in Macomb County. There was a steady stream of friends and family for about five hours. It was very tiring for Bob, but I trust it was an encouragement as well as many old friends and fellow Wertz Warriors came by to pay respects and offer support. It's been very nice to get to know Bob's family better this past week.
My Grandma, Mom's mom, looked wonderful(age 97 and doing very well but for the sadness). Mom's sister Jackie and her family were there as well as her brother Richard and his family. It's always great to catch up with the cousins. Carol and Connie came (daughters of Dad's brother Jack--best man whose car was in this picture). Uncle Bob's kids came (that Dad's haircut brother) as well as two of Roy's girls (all the way from New Jersey).

For those of you familiar with the Duncan Phyfe story (posted August through December), you'll be interested to know that I met the following people yesterday: the lady who rented my parents' upstairs apartment on Lapeer Avenue (scroll down to "flipping houses" here); the granddaughter of Mr. Kellermen who hired Mom at Star Oil. (The family still owns the business. Mr. Kellermen's granddaughter Emily married Bob's grandson Craig six years ago.)Our neighbors from Atkins Road, the Hales, Harris', and Bev Palmer was there with three of her kids.(I didn't just meet these folks. We are life-long family friends, but we see each other too seldom it seems.)
Over the dinner hour, my brother Jim and I drove to Mom and Dad's first apartment on White Street--the one to which they first brought home the Duncan Phyfe. As we drove west on Chestnut, I laughed at the slight downhill grade (where Mom got going too fast) because it is more noticeable than I imagined. I will be doing some revising of that chapter based on today's first-hand observation. It may come as a surprise that I'd never seen it before, but Mom's recollection of those streets and the small apartment was nearly "spot on." These thoughts are in my head because Mom and I had been talking of these things at length and in great detail throughout the fall. My brother Jim had followed the story during those months, and for us it's just a natural part of working through these days. I think Mom would be glad.


Blogger jewell said...

God is so amazing! What a neat story.

10/2/08 10:15 AM  
Blogger Jody said...

The tears have welled up in my eyes here at POI many times before. But none more touching than as a result of the words you've shared here today. Reminding me just how faithful and true and compassionate God is- in our deepest times of need. He does walk with us and carry us...and I love that He cares about the smallest details of our lives when we enter into a personal relationship with Him.
I will be praying for you and all your family, Tom. May God give you more peace, grace and mercies at this special, difficult time.

10/2/08 12:26 PM  
Blogger Lone Grey Squirrel said...

We are here for you and we know God is there for all of you.

10/2/08 1:50 PM  
Blogger Nancy said...

This is such a touching, sentimental post... one that brings some closure for me as a reader. How appropriate to share the Duncan Phyfe story with all who attend the visitation, and what a special tribute to your mom. Your friends and family will appreciate the story far more than words can express. I spoke at my dad's funeral and made copies for friends and family. It was thearaputic (sp?) for me and everyone seemed to appreciate the gesture. You are one extraordinary man and my life has been blessed with your compassion and talent. My prayers for you and your family will continue, especially tomorrow!

10/2/08 3:00 PM  
Blogger Josie said...

Tom, the circle of life is amazing, isn't it? There is a certain perfection in it.

Please accept my condolences on the loss of your mother. Your series of posts has been such a tribute to her.

And now your daughter and her husband are starting out on their wonderful journey, and their circle begins.

10/2/08 4:47 PM  
Blogger heiresschild said...

Tom, just when i think i can't cry anymore, your beautiful writings and tributes continue to bring tears to my eyes. my continued prayers to you and your family.

10/2/08 8:53 PM  
Blogger Dave said...

I just came by to say that you are certainly in my thoughts and prayers. My father passed away on this past December 27, 2007 (http://120299.blogspot.com/2007/12/my-father-1924-2007.html). It was the first time in which I had lost a loved one. I have a peace about it and know that the Lord's timing was perfect.

I offer you my condolences. I trust that all will go well during this time of your loss.


11/2/08 11:10 AM  
Blogger Dr.John said...

My mom's funeral was also a sad and happy time. My Bishop officiated and he was so helpful. Memories do flood in. God grant you peace through all of this.

11/2/08 11:50 AM  
Blogger patterns of ink said...

It's good to be home.

You understand very well that unfinished song. We got home last night (Monday night) and I pretty much rested today but will be at the game tonight. It is amazing how God's storyline unfolds.

I know you went through a similar loss last year. Thanks, Calvin.

Closure is good. I do sense it as much as can be at this time. Many people we visited with over the weekend would enjoy that full Duncan Phyfe story but the short "Visiting Home" piece ties in well with that story.
My sister spoke for us siblings and did a great job. She shared a story that I may post here with her permission.

The "circle" was amazing and I think it helped us at home with our grief.

Thank you for your prayers. The service went well as did our trip home.

Welcome to POI. I've been to your blog before. Sorry to hear of your loss. That is still very recent I know. I found myself writing much more after my father's death in '95. In fact, I'd say that's when I began writing again after many years of "putting off."

Thanks for your steadfast encouragement to others.

The service went well. My pastor and two co-workers surprised us driving across the arctic, sub-zero state to be at the service. It was wonderful to see some faces from home. One of them had been in Thailand with me--that was especially helpful since my closure on that trip has not yet come. Thanks, Bill, Terry, and Jon.

One of the purposes of funeral customs is "closure" for the family. These past three days were very good for that, but other types of closure will continue for individuals in the days and months ahead.

After our long day, and 3.5 hours on the road, it felt very good to walk into my own home after all these days. I slept well. In the morning, I began unpacking my suitcase which was full of clothes I'd packed for Thailand mixed with some that Julie brought for the funeral. In the bottom of the suitcase was a handful of Thai coins from the pocket of the pants I last wore there. I think it will be some time before things feel "normal" in my life.

12/2/08 2:28 PM  
Blogger Nancy said...

How neat for you to meet the characters in the Duncan Phyfe story... now that we look back, it is easy to see that the timing, of the completion of this story, was God's perfect timing- as always. May that same God(the one and only)bring you the strength, love and support that you need in the coming days.

Thank you for taking the time from your busy schedule to keep us up to date. It really makes me feel like I am a part of it all which warms my heart (don't ask me to explain that because I don't understand it- I just know that the feeling is there).

My prayers continue for all of you.

12/2/08 10:59 PM  
Blogger Cris said...

I think that is very neat that you got to meet all of those people from your parent's past. It sort of makes the Duncan Phyfe story all the more real doesn't it?

I'm not very eloquent and I'm not even sure of any words that could possibly help. But I just wanted to let you know that you and your family continue to be in my thoughts and prayers.

13/2/08 7:09 PM  
Blogger patterns of ink said...

I know what you mean. That sense of "neighborhood" that we all talked about way back in the "Why Bloggers Blog" series last spring has been an unexpected blessing of writing here and reading other blogs. It may be a while before I'm actively writing and reading again, but I know folks understand. Thank you.

My brother Jim called this afternoon. He was in Port Huron visiting my grandmother and was able to take some pictures of that first apartment--we forgot to do that when we were there Sunday. It does seem strange to see places and meet people that before now I'd only written about in a "story." I'm so glad I began that project last summer. As Nancy pointed out a while back, I think it was my own daughter's wedding that made me want to write it, but it turned into a fun topic for Mom and me. Even at Thanksgiving, when they were here at the house, she handwrote several pages of details. Those pages mean even more to me now.

13/2/08 11:02 PM  
Blogger Andre said...

Hi Tom

I'm a relative newbie to your site (I ran across it through Sylvia). I'm glad I was led here. This was such an amazing post!

At any rate, may God give you His perfect peace in this challenging time. Stay encouraged, my friend!

14/2/08 8:50 AM  
Blogger patterns of ink said...

Welcome to POI. I do not remember how Sylvia and I met in the blogosphere (it may have been through LGS), but I knew from her blog name that she would be an encouraging friend.
Thank you.

16/2/08 11:44 AM  
Blogger heiresschild said...

Tom, i never cease to be amazed at anything God does. His timing for The Duncan Phyfe is so amazing--how you put the finishing touches on it to give to your Mom at Christmas--just in time. we serve such an awesome God. i'm so glad your Mom got to see the finished work. and then look how you're meeting people from the story, and even seeing the incline in the street where your Mom pushed the car. simply amazing!

19/2/08 8:45 AM  

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