Saturday, June 16, 2012


Here we are, another Fathers Day is upon us. I always feel a bit melancholy on Fathers Day. It gets me thinking of my three girls and how they are all grown with their own families, not my little baby girls like they used to be. It gets me thinking of my Dad. He passed away six years ago. I could go on for hours telling you about my Dad. He was such a good guy.
Fathers day is also very difficult for Sandi. She lost her Dad a few years ago and it has been very difficult for her. One of the last times we saw him we had Gypsy with us. After he passed away I wrote this little rememberance of that visit.

Sandi was grieving the loss of her Dad. While he had some medical issues over the last few years, his sudden death was very much unexpected. Having lost my Dad a few years earlier, I knew what she was going through. While I was struggling to find the right words of comfort, I could only think of one thing. When ever I think of my Dad, and I think of him every day, I have a picture of him that I see clearly. The same picture pops into my brain every time and it is comforting to me.  I was thinking of telling Sandi about how I think of my Dad and the picture that I have of him when I realized, Sandi probably has the picture of her Dad already. There was a special moment between her and her Dad that I had the privilege to witness.

Around Christmas time we were visiting Raleigh and were staying with her Dad. Ralph knew how we felt about our dog, Gypsy, and was gracious enough to invite her along too. As soon as Gypsy walked into his house, it was obvious that she loved Ralph. She’d come and sit by his chair and he’d pet the top of her head speaking to her softly. Gypsy would just sit there very calmly, looking at him with those deer like eyes. We both made comments about how good Gypsy was around Ralph. Having plenty of people to visit while visiting Raleigh, Sandi and I were on the go and left Gypsy at the house, closed off on the porch. While it was obvious she and Ralph were getting along beautifully, she still had plenty of energy and he, although looking great, was moving pretty slowly. Sandi and I went off and did our thing for a few hours and headed back to the house. As we entered into his neighborhood, going around a cul-de-sac, I saw a beautiful black standard poodle being walked down the side walk. I didn’t even notice who was walking her. I started to blurt out hey look, a poodle, when Sandi looked at me and said oh my gosh, it’s Dad. The look on her face was a combination surprise and excitement.  I slowed up and there he was walking, well really shuffling, down the side walk with Gypsy high stepping along with him. He had on his typical fleece, zipped up to the neck, and his usually well groomed hair was standing up on end in the breeze. He had an ear to ear grin on his face as he waved at us as we passed. This was that last thing Sandi expected to see on that afternoon. We pulled into his driveway, not quite believing what we had just seen. Sandi jumped out of the car letting out a combination giggle and laugh she blurts out when she is excited. Of course Gypsy sees Sandi and decides to pick up the pace with Ralph trying to keep up. Thankfully he doesn’t fall. Out of breath he explains that Gypsy needed a walk and that it was a beautiful day so why not get out and stretch the legs.

I could tell it was a special moment for them both, a moment that can only be shared by a Father and Daughter. I could see the love and pride each of them felt towards each other. We went back in the house and Ralph sat down to rest and Gypsy lay down at his feet.

I hope years from now, when Sandi thinks of her Dad, she sees him as we saw him on that December day. Standing tall with his chest out, shoulders back, and a big grin on his face as he walked Gypsy through the neighborhood.


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