Sunday, June 17, 2012

Father's Day

This beautiful cactus was given to me by my daughter Sarah for Father’s day. It bloomed just in time. And it will keep on doing that for years to come. She was moving this weekend; the first time that she has lived in a different city than Sue and I; and so I will not see her until next weekend. Our other two sons, Keith and Shane, live in New York and Texas; respectively; and though we have gotten used to that, we miss seeing more of our grandkids.

The cactus is an important link between Sarah and I. She was vacationing with friends, years ago, as a kid, on the Outer Banks, where she dug some sand cactus up to bring home to me. Nobody, not even I, thought that it would survive the winter weather inland. Well, it did, and has split into a couple of groups, traveling from house to house with Sue and I over the years. Each year, around this time, they too, give me beautiful blooms. It makes me think about the doubters out there, myself included, who didn’t think the plant would survive.
Another, very special gift is the Red Robin Beanie Babie pictured below, nestled with the other 2 gifts. That was a present I gave Sarah when she was sick about 14 years ago. She had scores of them, most of which are housed in my garage. She only took a few when she married and moved out. But, she took the Robin, which always made me feel extra special.  Now that she will be living so far away (a bit more than 2 hours – or, the other end of the earth) she has returned it to me, and I will keep it close at hand as a way of feeling close to her.

Being a father is tough, but being my kid was probably tougher in many ways. It’s hard to grow up, and it’s hard to grow old. There’s no winning the war against time. It merely marches on past us, leaving us in its wake. No matter; I will always have this Robin to remind me of the daughter who learned to fly. And that  trumps any sense of loss I will ever feel.

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