There were times when I was a teen, that I was quite sure my Dad didn’t like me. Oh, I don’t think I ever doubted his love, shallow as I was, I really didn’t think about my folks loving me, I just knew it.
We had our differences, quarrels, spats. And we often said to each other, “When two people agree on every thing, one of them is no longer necessary.”
He was always necessary.
And I miss him so.
But, since his passing, things come to mind – out of the blue – that remind me of my Father’s love for me.
UPon going through his papers and there are 1000s of them in his office, my Mother and my sister, Zola, have found a few things that have let each of us know that Daddy loved us.
This for example…
…a simple piece of paper. Just a paper baby shoe. It’s MY shoe from the Kerrs Creek Baptist Church Cradle Roll. Now, I don’t know if other denominations have cradle rolls, but they are a pretty big deal with the Southern Baptists. And every baby born to a church family got one.
I think I remember them being pinned or taped to a ribbon. A pink one for the girls, a blue one for the boys. Tradition.
There are newspaper clippings of when I got promotions in that room, pictures of me I don’t remember, and notes from me to him, letters even, that he kept for one sentimental reason or another.
I too have a note. I remember early on in my young adult life I borrowed a small sum of cash from Dad, and agreed to pay him back monthly or bi-weekly. When I reached the half way mark, I included a note that said, “I’m half way there.”
He wrote on the same note, “I’ve always believed in meeting people half way, forget the rest.”
I still have that note.
I suppose we’re more alike than I ever thought.
There are other things in my home that remind me of him. The antique Japanese sword he brought home from World War II, his father’s plumb, his whetstone, things like that. Trinkets, valueless to anyone else, but priceless to me.
I learned later on what a Father’s love for his children is. A special bond between Father and Son or Father and Daughter is a precious thing, an enigma of sorts, and often puzzling.
I loved my Dad. I know he loved me, and I really couldn’t let the month of love go by without saying it.
And I miss him so.