As Fathers Go

We lost Scott Bertram on Friday, July 28th at sunrise with a smile on his face. Only he would have the will to die at his favorite time, on his favorite day of the week. We planted him in the earth the following morning on the land he and my mother made into an oasis over the last thirty years, a representation of their true love and the natural world. He rests in a coffin he built himself from yellow pine grown on his land. He insisted on being four feet instead of six so he could more quickly nourish the Triple Birch by his grave next to our beloved dogs Homer and June. 

The wind danced in the trees as we lowered him into the earth. Birds sang as we dropped flowers from the garden onto his grave. Ella read a poem she wrote for him two years ago for Father's Day. Whether or not you knew my father, I hope this poem touches your heart. Scott was a great man and the most wonderful father, so full of life that he inspired all those he met to live fully, love deeply, and walk on the wild side.

As Fathers Go by Ella Bertram
It's been proven through history and science
That every girl has a father by lineage
Some are quite good
Some are real mean
And some simply lie in the space in-between
I know it may sound like I'm bragging a bit
But as fathers go, mine is as good as it gets
He taught me hard work
And a knowledge of tools
And that if fun's to be had
Then working's for fools
He taught me to cook
And how to bake bread
And he taught me to love with my heart not my head
He gave me my courage, blonde hair, and green eyes
And showed me that no one
Is too tough to cry
He passed down his love
Of creatures, great and small
He showed me the ropes
But still broke my fall
He taught me the words
Of the Lord's favorite prayer
Now when I say it
I feel he is there
According to years
You'd say I was grown
But I feel like a baby
Who's just been brought home
Wrapped safe and warm
In my daddy's strong arms
Unawares of the world
And it's many harms

My dad died without regrets, surrounded by love, at his home in the woods with hummingbirds at the feeder. He reminded us all that dead is not gone. He is with us in the smooth bark of the Beech tree, in the sweet wild flowers, in this cool forgiving breeze so rare for July, in the wings of the birds, in the butterflies dancing in the wind, in the fireflies, and in our hearts. Look for him out on the trail, in the flowing rivers, in the ocean waves, and vibrant sunsets over North Carolina farm land. 

If you feel moved to, please comment below with a favorite memory of Scott B.