Tuesday, April 25, 2006

As long as I can remember, I have been able to glance at a patch of grass and spot a four-leafed clover. My dad was amazed that I could find the four-leafs so easily. He told me I was the luckiest girl in the world.

Dad died five years ago on April 29. He was a good and decent man who believed in God and lived his life accordingly. Dad worked hard and supported his family without complaint. Dad loved his wife, his children, the land he lived on, music and a good cup of coffee. He had a crazy sense of humor. His heroes were cowboys.

Dad could get on a horse by vaulting over the horses' rump and landing in the saddle. He could also hold on to the saddle horn and swing up into the seat without putting his foot in the stirrup.

Dad was a mechanic and at one time he owned a filling station. He was a stickler when it came to maintaining vehicles and he gave me frequent reminders to rotate my tires and check my oil. I could call Dad on the phone, imitate a "funny" sound my car was making and nine times out of ten, he correctly diagnosed the problem. He was strictly a rural driver, but he wasn't afraid to tackle "big city" traffic. He stopped at the end of merging lanes leading to interstate highways and waited for traffic to clear before he entered. Once on a family vacation, we went back and forth five times over a bridge across the Mississippi before Dad figured out which exit to take to get us through Memphis.

Dad used to entertain us by standing on a footstool in the livingroom and conducting orchestral music that Mom was playing on her stereo. When I was a beginning piano student, he dazzled me with his ability to play "Chopsticks", "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" and "I Dropped My Dolly In The Dirt" on the piano without using written music. Dad and Mom sang duets in church. My favorite was "Ivory Palaces". My parents never missed a single piano or voice recital that I performed in.

One summer day, Dad and I went fishing. I caught a catfish and as I was taking it off the hook, I ripped my thumb on the catfish barb. My thumb wouldn't stop bleeding so Dad made a poultice out of some mud and put it on my thumb. I was 32 years old. I hurt my knee in a basketball game when I was a freshman in high school. Dad took me to the emergency room, but there was a man having a heart attack and all the doctors were busy saving his life. After waiting several hours, we decided to leave and make an appointment with our family doctor the next day. It had been raining heavily the entire time we were at the hospital and we couldn't get home because bridges were either washed out or under water. Dad and I ended up spending the night in our church.

Today as I was crossing the lawn at the high school, I looked down and there it was. A four-leafed clover. I chuckled as I bent over to pluck it and Dad whispered in my ear, "You're the luckiest girl in the world." He is so right.





6 Comments:

Anonymous Suzy_q said...

Wow, that was a tear jerker. Awesome post.

7:54 AM  
Blogger Tiggerlane said...

Aw...how touching. Made me well up...

You are so good at putting down your feelings...

1:41 PM  
Blogger Whiterabbit said...

I usually try to keep my emotions at arm's length, maybe because once they get started I can't really control then and just have to let them run their course before I can regroup. It's like I'm having some kind of attack.
Wonderful, sneaky story that caused a minor episode first thing in the morning.

Life with my father was more like the interaction between Bart & Holmer Simpson. Like Bart, I was pretty much to blame for my dad wanting to get his hands around my neck. But he too is now gone and I do miss him.

7:35 AM  
Anonymous Suzy_q said...

Time for an update Ms. Songbird!

10:24 AM  
Anonymous Rita said...

What a bueatiful tribute to your father "the real bread man". Cherish his words in your ears. One of the sadest days in my life came a few years ago when I realized I couldn't hear my daddy's voice anymore. Not that I couldn't feel him, but I forgot what he sounded like. I try and try at different times and I can't hear him. He has been gone 30 years. A life time. We didn't have VCR's or any type of recording gadgets so all I have are my memories and I will never loose them. A few times I have dreamed of him and it was great but I always left crying. When Maggie was born, I grieved and grieved because Daddy would never get to see her. One night I dreamed that she and I went to see him. He met us outside of a building and took her in. I couldn't go. After awhile he brought her back to me then i woke up. I never grieved again. I believe that God gave me something very special that night to help with my missing him. Your page is beautiful. Thanks so much for sharing it with me. I am sendining it on to Maggie. Hope to see you at Jubilee.

10:45 PM  
Blogger Karmyn R said...

I'm just reading through some of your archive posts....

Great story about your dad and finding 4-leaf clovers. sniff sniff....

2:51 AM  

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