I Want to Dance with my Father, Again
By Deborah Anderson
I sat alone in my car and waited for a break. The rain looked like thousands of winter icicles spiraling downward as it poured from the sky.
I peered at the long sidewalk leading to the church doors. There was no way I was going to make a run for it. I’d spent a lot of time on my hair and used the last of my paycheck to buy the new dress I was wearing. I didn’t want to enter the service looking like a drowned rat. After all, it was Easter.
As I sat there, the repetitious clinking sound of the rain against my car lulled my thoughts to another place and time—to a previous Easter with my father.
“Hey, Dad,” I said.
“Well, how’s my little girl today?” Dad raised himself up in his hospital bed and flashed a grin.
“Happy Easter, Dad.”
I leaned down and kissed my father on the cheek, while handing him his Easter gift. I had purchased it downstairs in the hospital gift shop. It wasn’t much, but it was all I could afford at the time.
“Well, look at what we have here." He held up the little stuffed Easter chick with pride. It was light pink, with feet made out of orange felt to match its beak. Attached to its head, was a gold, braided rope.
“I bought it for you to hang from the rearview mirror in your car.”
“Why thank you, honey.” His bottom lip began to quiver.
I bent down and hugged my father. I wanted to hold him forever, freezing that moment in time.
“Do you really like it, Dad?” His lip began to quiver again. His non-verbal communication had answered my question.
“So, how are you feeling today?” I said.
“I’m feeling pretty good, little girl.”
“When are they going to let you come home?”
“I don’t know. We’ll have to wait and see what the doctor says.”
“I miss you. I want you to come home…now.”
“I know,” he said. “I miss you, too.” He raised his hand and gently patted my cheek.
As I stood there looking at my father, I remembered the fun times we'd shared together. One of my fondest memories was when Dad used to dance with me. One dance session in particular, took place when I was about six.
I was sitting in the living room one morning, when Dad started dancing across the carpet. You would have never known he had just finished working the midnight shift at the local factory.
“Are you ready, little girl?” he hollered. He shook his finger, his feet, and his rump, dancing his version of the twist, while Chubby Checker played in the background.
I giggled with glee. “I’m ready, Dad.”
I jumped up from my chair and joined him. I attempted to wiggle my bottom the way he was doing.
“Look, Mother,” he said. “Look at her go, Ev.” Dad cackled as he showed Mom the professional dancer he was creating.
I cherished those times with my father.
Now, just a few years later, he lay in the hospital bed before me, barely moving at all. I wanted to dance with my father, again.
I looked back over at Dad. I could see he was tired. Moments later, he laid his head back on his pillow and closed his eyes. Within seconds, he was snoring.
I reached down and picked up the Easter chick, which was still sitting on his lap, and set it on the nightstand by his bed. Tears filled my eyes as I looked back at him.
“I love you, Dad,” I whispered. I put my fingers to my lips, kissed them, and gently transferred my silent affection to Dad, barely touching his forehead.
I didn’t spend Easter that year in a church where Easter lilies adorned the altar, nor did I have a fine dinner spread out before me with all the fancy trimmings. Still, it was an Easter precious to me, because I spent it with my father.
Now, I sat in my car, alone in the rain.
A loud knock on my car window jolted me back to reality. A fellow church member had seen me sitting there.
“Hey, Deb, is everything okay?” she asked.
“I’m fine,” I said. “I’m just waiting for the rain to die down.”
I hadn’t noticed the rain had stopped.
I looked up at my rearview mirror at the pink Easter chick, which now hung in my car. It was hard to believe Dad was gone. I missed him terribly. Tears filled my eyes, and Heaven cried with me, as the rain began to fall again.
My reminiscing over, I hurried out of my car and bolted for the church.
Once I was inside, the service started out with praise and worship. I wasn’t really into doing much of anything, because I thought about my dad and began to feel sorrowful. Shortly after, however, something happened. I felt a tugging on my heart, and I realized something. I knew…I wasn’t alone.
I had a Father in Heaven who was always nearby and watching over me. He was now the One, by His Spirit, tugging at my heart, asking me to dance with Him; just as my dad did all those years ago.
I stood from my seat, as my Heavenly Father beckoned. “Happy Easter, Father,” I said. I took God’s hand and began to sway to the music. It was once again Easter, and I was dancing with my Father.
Copyright ©2005 by Deborah Anderson. All rights reserved.
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