In Memory of My Father Peter Whitney Slayton

For Family and Friends of my dad, I am grateful I have the opportunity to use this web space to share some photos of my Dad throughout his life, and some of his poems. Please share your own memories by posting your thoughts at the end of this blog.
Peter Slayton doing what he loved best: playing music
Peter Slayton doing what he loved best: playing music

When dad passed away on September 16, 2011, I wrote this poem:

For Dad

Maybe you have gone, but you will never really leave
I will always be who I am because of your part in helping me grow
Learning to drive in Vermont winters.
Discovering science, helping you count transistors.
Your gift of a scientific mind lives on in me
I never stop questioning, exploring, analyzing all I see
Maybe we were not always there for each other
Both stubborn independence Vermonter to the core
Half of my life I have been three thousand miles away
No matter the distance, through the years, we talked often
Over the years I struggled to understand your mental illness
In my youth my pride would not let me see
Your honesty, you never hid your flaws like most of us do
They were just a part of you
Part of why your daughter is so proud of you
You always were, and always will be
In my heart.

Visiting my dad in the hospital, August 2011
Visiting my dad in the hospital, August 2011

Goodbye

Beginnings and endings,
The sweet kiss of love
That turns and bites the hand as if a viper.
The never-numbered salvations
That have turned into a damnation.

Then I see how eagerly
Green life springs from the folds of the earth,
And life fights the only truth that was ever, death.
I think that maybe sorrow won’t hurt us forever
Life will spring eternal,
Rebirth, the strongest force.

Another picture of Dad playing banjo- sometime in the 80's
Another picture of Dad playing banjo- sometime in the 80′s

Dad at the beach, with his 3rd wife Barbara
Dad at the beach, with his 3rd wife Barbara

Dad sporting his wild mountain man look
Dad sporting his wild mountain man look

Enjoying the Bread and Puppet Circus, the politcally satirical puppet theather event that rocked Glover Vermont's world in the 70's, 80's, and 90's
Enjoying the Bread and Puppet Circus, the politcally satirical puppet theather event that rocked Glover Vermont’s world in the 70′s, 80′s, and 90′s

Dad loved camping, and truly loved the beautiful forests, lakes, and mountains of Vermont
Dad loved camping, and truly loved the beautiful forests, lakes, and mountains of Vermont

Down at the farm in Duxbury VT, late winter or early spring. I lived with dad here in a trailer under the shoulder of Camel's Hump mountain.
Down at the farm in Duxbury VT, late winter or early spring. I lived with dad here in a trailer under the shoulder of Camel’s Hump mountain.

The Good 'Ole Slayton Boys: My Great Uncle Charlie, Dad, and Grandpa Ron
The Good ‘Ole Slayton Boys: My Great Uncle Charlie, Dad, and Grandpa Ron

Considering how many months of snow Vermont has every year (especially in the 80's) I am amazed I can only find one picture of dad in full coverage snow. Well, here it is!
Considering how many months of snow Vermont has every year (especially in the 80′s) I am amazed I can only find one picture of dad in full coverage snow. Well, here it is!

My father, Peter Slayton: all 6' 3
My father, Peter Slayton: all 6′ 3″ of him, before his back injury!

Dad showing off the organic veggies stand sign. Even back then, organic veggies were not just for hippies!
Dad showing off the organic veggies stand sign. Even back then, organic veggies were not just for hippies!

Dad and Great uncle Charlie.. true blue Vermonters foa shoa!
Dad and Great uncle Charlie.. true blue Vermonters foa shoa!

Dad at his wedding with Barbara. Thats me in the shades peeking from behind, back in the late 80's or early 90's
Dad at his wedding with Barbara. Thats me in the shades peeking from behind, back in the late 80′s or early 90′s

Chopping wood with his brother in-law way back when.. late 70's? Early 80's?
Chopping wood with his brother in-law way back when.. late 70′s? Early 80′s?

Dad and Grandpa, must have been in the early 70's
Dad and Grandpa, must have been in the early 70′s

Peter Slayton- His high school graduation picture!
Peter Slayton- His high school graduation picture!

The last time I saw dad, in August 2011. Visited with my Mom, a rare chance to be with both parents. Mom and Dad split up when I was two. Thankfully, I don't remember the details! I am grateful that Mom and Dad remained friends, and Mom sang beautifully at Dad's memorial service.
The last time I saw dad, in August 2011. Visited with my Mom, a rare chance to be with both parents. Mom and Dad split up when I was two. Thankfully, I don’t remember the details! I am grateful that Mom and Dad remained friends, and Mom sang beautifully at Dad’s memorial service.

Comments

  1. Rahula says:

    This is beautiful, Amelia. What is remembered, Lives.

  2. Rahula says:

    and his “things to do while resting” poem made me laugh…ruefully.

  3. Bill Pingree says:

    Amelia, thank you for all the pictures and poems. They show your love for your Dad and help bring back memories for people like me.
    Thank you.
    Bill

    • John says:

      Being a father of two small boys, ages 4 and 19 mnohts, I have often wondered how to spend quality time with both while not making the other jealous. So far, it seems we have the most fun when we’re all together, playing in a group of four! I cherish every second with these two and hope when they get older, they will remember these times!

  4. Peter says:

    this is really great amelia, thanks for sharing all this with us.

  5. Tristan says:

    Love the blog

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