An Act of Love
Today I think back in time, reaching far into the past before the sadness, the abandonment, the heartache of rejection and separation. A time when my dad was by my side each day and a time when he loved and adored me, his little girl.
This day my kitty was to come home from the vets. You see, I always had a way with cats and could tame the most feral, which I did often. This time the cat had gone to the vets to be spayed. I had no idea what that meant, only that my dear, sweet kitty was gone and had been for a few days. Daddy had made a promise she would come home this day, so I knew it would happen. After all, my dad never lied.
It was a Saturday and I was up early, eager to greet my kitty with open arms, hugs and kisses, so when Daddy woke up, I rushed to his side begging to know when my little kitty would be back home. He turned to me and told me he didn't know when this would happen. What? Had I heard him correctly? No. He had been telling me all week she would be back today. I hugged his knees, wailed and cried huge sobs of disappointment.
My dad patted me on the head and told me to stop crying and he'd try to figure something out. We ate breakfast of warm milk and Shredded Wheat and he told me to go out and play. I asked if he was going to get my kitty and he told me he didn't see how he could do this. Once again I sobbed, only this time, instead of sympathy, I received anger and he demanded I stop crying and get outside. Through my tears, I obeyed him as most children will do, and exited the kitchen door into the warm summer air. The heat and humdity was unbearable even this early in the morning, but as a young child, I didn't expect anything but the summer weather. It simply was accepted.
After exploring the woods and walking the miles back to the front yard, I heard the sound of wheels upon gravel and turned to see my father holding the handlebars of a very old, frame bent bicycle, with one hand, while the other hand held a hissing, meowing kitty. Too excited to notice the scratches and blood dripping from his large arm and hand, I scurried to the slowed bike and took my beloved kitty into my arms. All I could do was say, "Thank you Daddy".
It wasn't until years later that I recall the sweat running down his forehead and his clothes soaked from perspiration. I also didn't realize we had no money for gas for the car or to pay the vet bill, but my father, true to his word, did whatever it took to keep his promise.
Times change as well as people, even fathers. We were apart for many years shortly after this incident and my heart was filled with pain. I so wanted my daddy back; the one who adored and loved me so much he pedalled to the vets amid the humid heat of summer to bring my kitty to me. I yearned for the fatherly kisses and hugs and the proud glow in his eyes when he'd introduce me to friends and strangers. Yet, that was not to be; not ever again.
What I have learned is fathers are humans and living this journey of life just like everyone else. They make choices, decisions and do as well as they can at the moment. Sometimes they make great choices, other times, disasterous decisions. But we love them anyway.
So I must thank you daddy for showing me such love when I was in my formative years. Thank you for teaching me honesty and truth mean more than money or power. Through the trauma of events we witnessed, we were taught to be fair, giving, loving and to always keep our promises. And thank you for the wonderful gift of this memory, when you showed me such love.
Love to you Daddy - up there in the sky. In the end, you did okay.