I know it's around here somewhere. I've seen it before, I know I have it. A picture my mom took of me as a toddler with a black scarf on my head, playing dress up, shrouded in a ray of light that was coming in the window I was guarding. The soft light’s glow made me look so angelic, and from the stories my parents narrated to me frequently this must have been an aberrant day. I was standing there waiting for dad's car to pull into the drive so I could run out to greet him; as I've done so often throughout the years. Whenever I had a problem I'd call dad, cry my heart out and wait for him to rescue me. I was totally dependent on him. He never let me down; though there were times I still had to bear the consequences of my bad choices; in men, in purchases, in friends, in judgments. Waiting for dad. When I broke up with a boyfriend, when one of my children misbehaved, when I got fired. When life got in the way of my having a grand ole time. He was always there to pick up the pieces, and rearrange them into something healthy.
There were also times I hid from dad. When I was skipping out to see a boy after curfew, a big no-no. Or when I was hanging out with the wrong crowd on the school grounds, I would lower my head, letting my hair cover my face so he wouldn't recognize me. (a ploy I discovered latter didn't work!) When I stopped going to church, (for a short time) I wouldn't answer his calls on Sunday, so I wouldn't be found guilty. I was so smothered in self guilt I returned to the regular attendance I was brought up on. Better that than hiding in the dark every Sunday morning afraid of being caught!
When my ex-husband, who dad warned would do me wrong, vanished, (not as a result of alien invasions), dad was there (of course). Abandoned with two small kids way out in the country, dad came and got me, loaded up my things and took me home. Home. I was always welcome at home. Dad stood by me holding a hammer over my head when my errant hubby begged for my forgiveness. If I went back to that loser I'd be knocked unconscious and kept locked up in the basement till the divorce was final, then shipped to another country! This was one time I was given no free choice. I'd asked for his help and darn it all, he would make me take it.
Over time my friends heckled me for being such a daddy's girl. They insisted to mature on my own I needed some slack, some freedom from dad. He didn't need to know all my activities. They didn't have a close relationship with their dads, and I pitied them for that. It was healthier to grow up independently, they insisted. Occasionally I listened to them only to live to regret it, as in the case of the doomed marriage that had come with heavily ignored admonitions.
The reason I even remembered the missing picture I was hunting for was in my hands right now. A similar photographic memory I captured on film of my beloved Tessie, paws on the window sill, eagerly awaiting her “daddy”, my present husband, to come home. She was aware he was outside; her sharp ears having heard the truck pull in and park. She knew the difference between the neighbor’s vehicles and those of her owner's car. Amazing. She eagerly and patiently waited for her human daddy, every evening, and she couldn’t be fooled by an imposter. No way, no how.
I gave up looking for the coveted picture. It was lost somewhere by my magnificent organizational skills. I went to the window to wait expectantly for dad again. Recent problems were getting me down. The world situation; famine, earthquakes, tsunamis, (I didn't know what those were till a few years ago), wars hither and thither, drive bys; the list is an abyss of gloom, sucking me into a bottomless pit of despair. I called dad up earlier and we had a nice long chat ending with a promise that he'd come take me out for a nice dinner as soon as he could.
I didn't see a sign of him anywhere. Cars passed the house, neighbors got their mail, kids got off school buses, couples pushed strollers down the street, but no sign of dad. The radio on the counter announced some marriages taking place in high society, and then covered some deaths of affluent business men. The world was going on as was it’s well established custom. The sun was shining splendidly in the sky, flowers were blooming, bees were buzzing, birds were singing. Business as usual.
I turned my back on the day's routine taking place outside to start dinner. It didn’t look like dad would be coming today. Tessie whimpered, tail wagging, slowly, faster, fastest. Her "daddy" came in the front door and hefted her into his arms. I stopped wasting time waiting for mine, when a loud crack of thunder erupted, vibrating the entire house. Hurrying back to the window I was amazed at the dark clouds that had formed above in the split second I had been gone. This had not been broadcasted on the evening news. Lightening charged the air, rain descended, hail skipped on the ground, thunder bellowed again...Loud music broke forth from somewhere, louder than the din of the rainstorm. Someone was blowing reverie on their trumpet! Then there was dad, just as he promised. He in no way ever broke a promise and here he was to confirm his reliability. He came to make things better for me, just as he'd said he would in our last conversation, moments ago. He came down on a cloud never touching the earth opening his arms up for my husband and me. I just blinked once and my eyes opened to a new reality. I was finally weightless; no scales would call my heavy again! Way, way up yonder we went, along with the rest of my family, brothers and sisters all. Equal in dad’s eyes. No favorites. Some I'd met before, the others I'd have an eternity to get to know.
My days of waiting for dad are finally over. I'm home again, for the last time, for all time. Safe and secure in my father's arms. In my father's home. Sitting at my father’s table eating to my heart’s content. Tessie, who my husband had fiercely clung too when the trumpet sounded, was running around under the table with other pets, (was that a raccoon?), looking for table scraps from their owners, and licking sandaled feet. All dogs do go to heaven.