Wednesday, March 23, 2011

An Ode to Dad - Part 2

by Amy Lignor of The Write Companion

This is part 2 of Amy's article.  Part 1 was run yesterday.

My dad was a hard-working man, but inside he carried the most romantic heart I’ve ever seen attached to a male. He worked an extra job once just to send my mother some roses at work. It wasn’t Valentine’s Day, nor her birthday; when she opened the card it simply read…Just Because. (I’d cut my own arm off for ‘Just Because’) When we sat in the living room at night Dad would be working at his desk, while Mom sat on the couch reading Every once in a while I would see one of them raise their heads and stare at each other from across the room. They said that they were checking on each other…always. Mom loved to move the furniture, and poor Dad ended up walking into the closet one night when he got out of bed because he’d forgotten that the bedroom had been “re-invented” that day, and when she moved the living room furniture around, Dad would come in and trip over the couch. But he always nodded his head, gave that grin, and headed back out the door to work some more. Dad was a husband.
 Dad proved his psychic ability once when I came to the house and sat down with Mom. He walked by us, looked at me, and announced my pregnancy before I could. He said that he knew because of all the cows he’d worked with on the farm (not exactly sure if that was a compliment) When his darling Shelby came into the world she was always on his lap watching television, or curled up with him staring into his eyes like he was literally the safe island in a world full of chaos. They would sit at a table doing crossword puzzles together, and when they concentrated, their tongues would sneak out of their mouths and move back and forth like pendulums; their foreheads would pinch, and they would solve their puzzles…together. When Mom and Dad were walking down the sidewalk, Shelby would run past Grandma with a great big smile on her face and race into his arms. Mom wasn’t upset. She knew that he was the prize pick in our family. In Shelby’s eyes…Dad was King.

 I gardened with my dad. I sat by his side pulling weeds and we were…quiet. We’d talk when we wanted to but mostly felt safe and secure in the knowledge that we were by each other’s side. I walked with him a lot around the property. He taught me how to use a weed-whacker without ending up with the nickname “Stumpy.” We would go to the “Big House” and go down to the basement and paint before the owners showed up that weekend, to make sure that things were ready for their arrival. From the basement on up, Dad wanted to make sure that everything was in its’ place. I never told anyone this, but when nightmares would overcome me, I caught Dad crying once - upset that I was hurting. But we talked that day. He taught me that imagination was a fantastic thing to have; to be able to “see“ places that went far beyond what I lived in every day…but with the good, also came the bad. He attended the graduations, my sister’s wedding, Shelby’s baptism…and he always wore those glasses that turned dark when a few bits of sunlight hit his face, making it easy to spot that fountain of support no matter where you were or what you were up against. Dad was a true father.

When the Lord took him, or more to the point, when Dad realized that he, too, needed his Mom, a huge part of our family left this Earth. But his soul remains. The stories, the memories, and the spark of wit and love that he carried can still be found in my daughter’s eyes. I still have my dreams, but I revel in them now, because at night I can go "up" and see my dad. I walk with him in the gardens and update him on life down below. He talks to me as we pick the weeds, and I have to tell you all…Heaven has NEVER looked better than it does now. It absolutely shines. Dad is my Guardian Angel.

Robert Lignor: Artist, comedian, trouble-marker, intellectual, friend, husband, King, father, and angel…Dad is my hero.

 Next Week: Do You Envy the Rich? Wait Until You See Their Wallpaper.

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