Sunday, June 18, 2006

A day for father...

I been thinking lately about the people I meet
The carwash on the corner and the hole in the street
The way my ankles hurt with shoes on my feet
And I'm wondering if I'm gonna see tomorrow.

Father forgive us for what we must do
You forgive us we'll forgive you
We'll forgive each other till we both turn blue
Then we'll whistle and go fishing in heaven.

"Fish and Whistle" by John Prine

I’m blessed to have had a darn good father in my life. I have been without my dad for more years then I had with him, but the memories we made were good and plenty for a lifetime. Although my parents would never admit it, I am relatively certain I was supposed to be a son.

None the less, I was the daughter that could bait a hook and clean a fish. My dad and I fished in a boat, from the shore, and on the lake when it was frozen. I could catch night crawlers with the best of them...with a flashlight when the ground was wet...sneak up, grab them and pull gently, drop them in a cottage cheese container with a little dirt. It helped to write "worms" on the outside so my mom didn't get scared half to death.

We went hunting and dressed the pheasants in the laundry trays in the basement. I had the feathers packed into my little black patent leather purse, just to prove it, much to my mother’s dismay. My dad would open the gizzard with a pen knife so we could figure out what the bird had for lunch - pretty doggone cool if you ask me.

When my dad painted, I painted. When he had a hammer and nail, I did too. He would haul black dirt on the weekends to bring in a little extra cash. Me and my crayons and coloring books made many a trip along side my dad in the big red dump truck, from dawn until dusk. He would sing to me and I loved it…”I dream of Jeanie with the light brown hair…”

The last Christmas we had together I was in Lafayette and the snow was so deep and coming down steady. It looked like I was staying at school for the holiday until my mom called to tell me to be ready - dad was coming. And sure enough, he did. I still don’t know how we made it home. I-65 looked the same as the fields on either side.

The next spring he was gone. Pastor called him a fisher of men and I agreed. I'm not certain about the ever after but for my dad I figure it has something to do with a fishing pole and some nightcrawlers.

Thinking of you dad...


Blogger willi said...

Remembering one's parents is such a beautiful thing, but it always brings a tear to the eye. Your dad's a fishin' and my dad's deer running in and out of my life at times that I least expect it.

Glad you were daughter. Remember when we were at Corpus and just like that little girl with the pheasant feathers and the nightcrawlers you just had stick your toe in the tar on the beach.

7:08 AM  
Anonymous mjd said...

Ahh, this is a beautiful Father's Day tribute to your dad; I can almost see the nightcrawlers in the cottage cheese container and what the pheasant had for lunch.

Although my parents never, ever made me feel unwanted, I know for sure that I supposed to be a son.

9:43 AM  
Anonymous daddy d said...

Very nice thoughts. For sure a tear to the eye...

9:22 PM  
Blogger gawilli said...

I'm never going to live down that toe in the tar thing. And it wasn't nearly as cool as it looked.

Thanks my friends for letting me share my dad with you.

9:57 PM  

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