The Farm

Today would be my father’s eighty-third birthday, but he died on April 16, 2024. Rather than commemorate him, I celebrate what he took away. Secretly, sometime during his 40 dying days, he signed over title to a large portion of the family farm to the co-pastors of his church.

They say 75 percent. But other documentation indicates that he only had control over 7/12ths of the nearly 100 acres. Regardless, as I begin to grasp the extent of subterfuge and lies, presumably unprompted (but who knows) on his part, my feelings about him darken. My great-grandfather purchased the property in 1895.

My Nana loved the farm. She raised four children there and dozens upon dozens of foster kids, too. During my high school years, she was compelled to move from Aroostook County, Maine, south to second-largest city Lewiston. My uncle lived there, and he made sure that she and one of my two aunts had housing and care as they aged.

Nana wrote a poem about how much she missed her home. I thank my sister Nan for the photo, which is the Featured Image. Decades ago, my father demolished that “house of mine” that she pined for and moved in a manufactured prefab as replacement. The changes he made were many, but of course the biggest change was ownership.

My grandmother leaves behind something quite unexpected, though. Evelyn was the most popular name in Maine during 2022, dropping to second-place last year. Nana, if you see your son sometime there on the other side, please give him a whack aside the head for me, will ya?