Fathers and Roses

I remember you walking up the stairs at night and checking if I was asleep. It was a comforting game that I only played when I had already won.

I remember basement steps, and doing the hard icky jobs, just so others wouldn’t have to.

I remember the shop and the mysteries it held. I remember a big office and an old pickup.

I remember the scuffed leather chair, a cocked head and a phone resting gently while joking threats conveyed a total sense of safety.

I remember homework at the kitchen table and the red circled commas.

I remember lamb’s brains, and the comforting thought that you were human.

I remember Chapman picnics, and carnivals and T ball and soccer games.

I remember camping, and beach adventures. Hauling the crab pots seemed like nothing to you and the activity was so much more fun than sitting on the spit. I remember measuring and the pleasure of ‘too small, throw it back!’ The scuttling in the bottom of the boat was not scary because you were there.

I remember beer batter pancakes and building fires.

I remember carpools and your protectiveness as you understood I was not a girl who backed down.

I remember the startling idea that you were that kind of parent too, calming babies and changing diapers.

I remember planting trees on hillsides and an I5 Thanksgiving and Rice Hill.

I remember early mornings and the moment I knew what you were thinking by how you breathed.

I remember a sunburn on one leg because you let me drive the whole way to the beach.

I remember ‘hearts were made to be broken’ and ‘hey Carol, we have the back seat to ourselves’

I remember Stanford’s dinners, and early morning RAC visits. Flowers and cards.

I remember hair-cuts and olive groves and field trips with no contingencies.

I remember you saying ‘yes’, to school dances, and rides and every question I ever thought to ask you.

I remember every time you rescued me, and there are many.

I remember kindness. And humility. And a willingness to learn, always.

I remember ‘hands in the water, when I could not swim, I hung on to him’

It was always all right.

 

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