Saturday, June 14, 2008

Bolstered by your praises

I am walking down the street with you. We are chatting about how fast I am--your little sprinter. You tell me to go ahead and run as fast as I can and see if you can catch me. I take off, confident that I will leave you in my dust. Bolstered by your praises, I think I can fly like the wind. But when I turn to look back over my shoulder my heart gives a jolt. I squeal in shock and delight to find that you have swooped up behind me effortlessly and I feel proud that you are such a powerful dad; strong and quick.

I can’t sleep. Again. I am keeping myself awake by turning dark restless thought over and over again in my mind. I hear the comforting white noise of stadium crowds gathered in a city far away. You are watching a football game. I quietly sneak downstairs. This has happened on more than one occasion. Sometimes I just sit by you and let the noise of the game lull me to sleep. But perhaps it was a particularly bad night. Maybe I looked more shaken than usual, so you pulled down the Bible and read me the story of Jesus calming the storm. And my heart was comforted. A comfort far beyond the familiar noises of a football game.

“How about them cowboys.”
A code phrase you invented for the two of us which meant, “I love you,” in case I should ever reach an age at which it would be too embarrassing to hear it from my dad in public.
That day never came.

I love you Dad.