Daddy

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Grainy picture, but the memories are clear.

See that little purple flowered skirt with the plastic daisy belt buckle? My Daddy bought that for me. It doesn’t match the shirt I am wearing, my ponytails were clearly ‘man-made’ — and truth be told, I don’t exactly remember taking this picture.

But that little purple, pleated skirt, I remember clearly.

We lived out west, and we were on our way out of the department store having purchased school clothes. Sensible, practical, affordable school clothes. Times were hard, my parents were separated, and extras weren’t to be expected.

But that skirt was soooooo pretty on the little manikin above the sales rack. It was $8.00, which was a LOT for a little pleated skirt in the 1970’s. Like, only if you have money to burn, do you spend that much on a little pleated skirt. My little heart yearned for that skirt. I knew I couldn’t have it, and I never asked for it, but I couldn’t help fingering the material, and admiring the daisy belt buckle. I never dreamed it would be mine.

Then like a Hallmark movie, when the heroine’s dreams are dust, and nothing seems possible, all things became possible. Without a word, my Daddy stopped short at the door of the department store, and went back to that circular rack. He found my size, and purchased that little skirt. How did he know? What did he sacrifice to afford that expensive skirt? All that I know is that I had never felt like such a princess in my life!

My Daddy seems so young in this picture, young and troubled with a messy divorce in his future, and separation from the children he loved. Not long after this picture was taken, he moved far away to a place called Alabama, a different world, when gravy is poured on biscuits, the ice tea is syrup thick, and fireflies dance in the humid twilights. When my brothers and I were old enough we joined Daddy in his southern home. He had a new wife, and we had a new brother and sister. Daddy operated a little convenience store to keep us fed, and five children in clothes and shoes. He didn’t have a lot to give us, but he always gave us love, and that’s a lovely legacy.

Real life is not like a Hallmark movie where everything is smoothed over in an hour and half. Real life is a little messier, the challenges a little grittier, and reality much more unyielding. But when I look at this picture,…I am reminded that a little girl’s dreams can still come true.

My Daddy is no longer with us, I miss him, but I take comfort in the memories he left, and knowing that our Heavenly Father is always with us.

“Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father”.” – Galatians 4:6 — 

Until I post again,…may God bless and keep you!

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