Daddy

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I haven’t been here in ages.

A friend’s family member passed. The viewing was this weekend.  This cemetery in Nectar, AL was just down the road from the funeral home as the proverbial crow flies.  My daddy is buried there. I was 12 when he passed.

Daddy worked two jobs, ran for elected office on a national level and was involved in his church and community.  He was laying pipe while on his second job when the accident happened.  The second job was his fledgling construction company. He was laying pipe  in order to bring city water into our community. I can remember going with my mother,  siblings and a car load of kids she kept to collect water at the spring when water went out at the house.

Daddy was using a backhoe to dig the pipeline. He put the machine in neutral and stepped off. If he had turned the digger off it might not have happened. His pant leg caught the gear as he was descending the backhoe. This put the machine in gear and it rolled over him.

I didn’t get to say my goodbyes. Over the years, I have worked on my “daddy issues”, consequently. In my twenties, I wrote him a letter. It was most freeing and healing.

At his grave site there was no regret. No “if onlys” or ” might haves”, “should haves”, “could haves”, etc. There was peace.

I am not sure why I went. A few memories came to mind while standing there.  My Daddy was a handsome 6’3″ blue eyed man with dark hair. Seems like it was black. I was about six when my 5’5 ish  grandmother looked up at him and with a pointing index finger, informed him he was not too big for her to spank.  In the momentary silence which followed, I wondered what Daddy had done.  Then they laughed. Whew! Daddy was off the hook.

That was it…until this morning on the way to work. I was reflecting on my visit when a memory years after Daddy’s death came to mind.

My sons were maybe 5 and 2. Grandmother wanted to take us all shopping. Anxiety kicked in. Two active boys were about to go shopping with their great-grandmother who didn’t understand why they might find that boring and behave accordingly. Friends and family who knew of the impending excursion called to encourage me to go and try to have a good time.

New clothes put away and two exhausted boys down for a nap. I was pooped. The same family and friends called to inquire how “it” went. We all lived through “it”.

Later that evening, when the boys’ dad was home,  I was able to have a moment to myself and ask my heavenly Father just what that shopping trip was about. The answer came: You want a daddy. My reply: Again? Old thought patterns came flooding back.  I didn’t stay too long on those old trails. My heavenly Father interrupted. Quite unapologetically.  He simply said, “Call to me.” I was breathless. What if…  Again he entreated, “Call to me.” Deep breath. I called. Silent tears fell.

The boys’ dad was relaxing in the recliner in the den. I heard him get out of his comfortable position. I tensed. I knew if he came into the living room he would ask what was wrong. I would say nothing was wrong. He would wonder if it was something he’d done. I would say no and it would go downhill from there. Instead, he silently sat beside me and just held me. Through my sons’ father, Father God met me in my overwhelmed and exhausted state.

I will always need my Abba, Papa, Daddy, Father God.  How about you?

~DPH~

 

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