He comes to mind when I see a child squeezing her father’s hand. He comes to mind when I ponder over whether or not to give the extra change back that I was given at the store. He looms up in my life when I think about doing something that isn’t right. Dad passed on to a better place in 1993 but was instrumental, not only in starting my life in1948, but teaching me, by example, the right way to be.
Though many years have come and gone,
I still recall of just how fond
You were of me; so full of pride,
Your father’s grin both big and wide.
A girl was what you wanted, yes.
Your two grown boys had lent you stress.
But being just the way I am
I, too, could always find a jam.
Then I needed some way out
And you were there, without a doubt.
Strong and calm you helped me grow
With tender words your love you showed.
I remember now and I remember then
You always were my special friend.
You used to call me your “little doll”
And with those words would come a smile.
Whenever you would hold my hand
The feeling that I got was grand.
First a squeeze and then just tight,
My hand in yours and all was right.
When life seemed bleak and all was dark,
Upon your lap I’d crawl and park.
You’d pat my back and dry my eyes
And soothe away the heavy sighs.
But on fishing trips I drove you nuts!
Oh, how I hated minnows’ guts!
Bait my own or catch no fish.
For thunderstorms I used to wish.
When I grew up and wrecked the car
You were still my shining star.
Kind and sweet and patient, yes
While you listened to “your doll” confess.
You never let me stand alone
And mostly kept an even tone.
Logic was your strongest suit
With honesty your very root.
You raised me long enough to know
In your reflection I did grow…
Not to steal or cheat or lie
And love is something you can’t buy.
So, Dear Dad, ‘til we meet again
At heaven’s gate I know not when,
I‘ll keep you in my heart and mind
Until I feel your hand find mine.
Originally published in the June 2008 issue of The Cross Timbers Gazette.