Sunday, June 15, 2008


Yesterday on the phone, I told my sister I hadn't allowed myself to do much thinking about what Father's Day would be like without Papa around this year. It's not that I hadn't thought about the day as it approached; I just didn't want to acknowledge Papa's not going to be on the other end of the phone when I call home this afternoon.

As I watched the tribute to Tim Russert on TV this morning, I couldn't hold back the tears any longer. I feel sorry for all the Russert family, in particular, for his son, Luke. I know what it's like today not to have my father here to talk to. I'm lucky he lived 55 years of my life.

But as I write this, the music of the birds flitting about outside and the crow calling in the distance bring Daddy close by my side. The sun's out on this glorious morning, and some of the seeds I planted last week are peeping through the ground. If Papa were here at the farm, he'd be sitting out on my back deck, taking in every movement in the brush, every bird in the sky, every cat in the field. As I walked down to my sparsely planted garden a minute ago, I could see Zeb in my mind. I'm sure he'd remark about how pitiful the beds look at the moment, but he'd be glad I have a few things in the ground nonetheless.

I'm going to pull out Daddy's crow call and slingshot later on today. I've been studying the sound of the crows, listening carefully to their calls and "singing" them in my mind. Now, I just have to see if I can imitate them with the crow call. I've also been picking up round rocks to use in the slingshot. My goal is to hit a special place on the barn, a place I watehed Daddy nail countless times from the back porch. Then, I'm going to devote the afternoon to typing away at his stories as I get them in electronic form.

I want him near me all day today....I want to sit in the silence and hear him give thanks over Sunday lunch....I want to hear his dry-witted chuckle....I want to see him feeding his squirrels....I want to leave a lipstick kiss on the top of his head....I want to hear him over and over in my mind telling me "I love you, sweetheart."

I am thankful for this day and for many blessings, one of the greatest of which is to have been "Zeb's girl."

(Daddy and me - Summer, 2005)

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