Tuesday, March 17, 2015

My Daddy

          “Anyone can be a father but it takes a special person to be a daddy.”  Hallmark card

          This morning at our usual Sunday breakfast, I had a wonderful realization about my father.  My friend was telling a story and responded that she saw a lot of her father in her son and in herself.  I thought to myself and brought to my mind’s eye an image of my own father.  I told the group at the breakfast table that I thought the only thing of my father that I had inherited was the ability to tell a good story.

          Later while writing in my journal I realized what a marvelous gift my father had given me.  I am a writer.  I tell stories and thanks to my father’s gene pool, I tell a pretty good tale.

          When I was a little girl one of my favorite things to do was to say to my father, “Daddy, tell us something about ‘down home.”  My parents were from the rural Kentucky hills and their childhood seemed to be Waltonesque to me.  Big family, not much money but a whole lot of love and adventures for kids running free in the countryside.

          My dad would conjure up a story about when he was a kid.  He had such wonderful stories to tell.  My favorite one was about the time his brother had challenged him to see who could throw a rock the farthest and my father had hit his brother right between the eyes with his throw.  We would all laugh and Daddy would just beam with obvious delight.  We kids would ask for more and more stories and he would agree and give us another rendition of one of his favorite memories.

          The things that made my father’s stories so good were the fact that they were real and had actually happened.  He used expression in his face as he told the stories and you could tell from his face that he was reliving those moments as he told us about them.  He would laugh and clap his hands and we would cry, “what then? What then?” and he would entice us further even if we had heard the story before.      

Daddy had so many stories about hunting and courting my mother and stories about his brother and sisters.  My most unfavorite were the snake stories because I would have bad dreams.  My mother would try to hush these stories but once he got on a roll there was no turning back.

          I think the reason I loved my daddy’s stories so much were that they allowed me a glimpse of him when he was young.  When I envision my daddy I see him, as he was young, smiling and handsome with such beautiful wavy dark hair.  I’ve heard it said that it is a shame that we didn’t know our parents when they were young.  Because of my father’s stories, I did know him when he was young.  He will always be young to me.  And he was a very special person.

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