My youngest memory as far as I can tell was of being picked up by my father from my crib. I specifically remember feeling completely safe as he carried me to the breakfast table for pancakes. Alright, I don't exactly know it was pancakes but it was morning and we were headed to the kitchen and pancakes make me feel happy...much like my father's embrace.
First, I don't want to forget that Josiah told me the other day that (after having to be away for the night with my dad at the hospital) he hoped I was coming home that night because it was very boring the night before without me. Maybe one of the best mom compliments I've ever gotten.
Today, I talked to my dad on the phone. He is ill. We don't know why. He is unable to do the things he wants to do. I'm proud of my brothers and sisters. They are all picking up the slack and without complaint as each feels a great debt to my father for his years of support and love.
My dad hates it. He feels like less of a man. Like life is stealing his dignity.
I told him that I loved him and that at 40, I find myself reflecting more than anything else. Time is slipping through my fingers. I want to slow it down so I don't miss a thing. He may think I missed it but I didn't. All of the money and time and sacrifice and fears and patience that he has had with me....he's never once asked me to change. He's always loved me just as I was. I'll always remember.
And then I cried. Mostly because I'm a daddy's girl but even more because I'm not guaranteed how many of these "talks" I'll get with him. I feel blessed that it is so easy for me to tell him that there's nothing I wouldn't do for him, no distance I wouldn't go to be by his side if he needed me, no words I wouldn't say if I thought it would even remotely let him know how much he is treasured.
It was a good talk.
I never want to forget to say the things to the people I care about while they are in this land of the living. All of those fleeting appreciations that pass through your head and are quickly repressed with more immediate tasks or conversations. I don't want to leave this earth with anyone I love wondering...