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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: fathers (06/06/05)

TITLE: Eat the Cone, Too!
By Shirley Thomas


As I looked deeply into the blue eyes of my father, I am reminded of so many precious memories. My father, "daddy", is slowly dying. He has suffered for years with heart disease and I know that he is tired of fighting to stay alive. I know in my mind that I have to let him go, but my heart will never be ready. His eyes,the color of an endless, summer morning sky, are staring into mine, trying to reassure me that all is well. But all is not well; what will I do without my daddy? I'm an adult, I'm a wife, I'm a mother and a grandmother, but I want to be my daddy's little girl, too. I know that once he leaves this world I'll never be that "little girl" again. If I could only turn back the clock, go back to the times he told me so many amazing stories of his childhood. If I could hear just one more story from my dad, the master story teller.

"Hey little lady, how about a story?" my dad weakly asked. He always seemed to know what I was thinking.

"Sure dad, if you're up to it, I would love a story." I replied eagerly. I didn't want to miss one thing he had to say, so I brought my chair closer to his bed. I knew this would probably be the last story I would ever hear him tell.

My dad began his story, "When I was a small boy, my daddy promised me a special treat if I helped my momma around the house and helped with my brother and sisters. Since treats were so rare in my childhood, I eagerly finished my chores and even helped my brother and sisters with theirs. Sure enough, that Saturday morning, my daddy let me ride with him in our old pick-up truck to town. Once we got there we went into the only store in town and my dad told me that the special treat he had for me was an ice cream cone. I had never had an ice cream cone, I didn't even know what one was. I knew about ice cream, but not an ice cream cone. My dad let me pick out the flavor and I chose chocolate. I walked out of that store feeling like a million bucks. It was a hot Georgia summer morning, so I knew I had to lick fast before my ice cream began to melt. I still hadn't figured out what made this ice cream cone so different from just regular ice cream, but that was okay, because it was still mighty good! I can remember digging my tongue down into that holder and getting every lick of that chocolate ice cream. When I finished I didn't know what I was suppose to do with the cone, so I stuck it in my pocket. You see, little lady, I thought the cone was the holder for the ice cream, I didn't know I was suppose to eat it. By the time I got home and asked my momma what to do with it, the cone was torn to pieces. What a laugh my momma and daddy had about me saving that ice cream cone because I didn't know I could eat it. Little lady, sometimes our lives are just like that ice cream cone. We miss the best part of life because we don't know what to do when something new comes along or things change. All the stories I have told you over these years are inside of you and you need to share them with your grandchildren. I won't be here to do that, but you will be. Don't just put these memories in your pocket and save them because you don't know what to do with them, share them, enjoy them. Always remember, you're suppose to eat the cone, too!"

My daddy smiled, closed his eyes and drifted off to sleep. A few hours later he was walking the streets of gold with his heavenly Father. I'll never forget that story and I pray that I will always remember to enjoy the cone, too.

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This article has been read 886 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Amy Brown06/13/05
Precious story. I felt that I could hear his steady voice sharing life's wisdom. What a treasured memory.
Carol Shaffron06/13/05
What a blessing to have a look into your and your Daddy's special time together. It is so precious. The wisdom about the ice cream cone and how we "hide" things --- I think has some special significance.
vicki mccollum06/17/05
This is beautiful. I loved it.
Linda Watson Owen06/17/05
A real blessing to read!
Shari Armstrong 06/18/05
Beautifully told.
Theresa Kissinger06/22/05
Shirley, I just buried my dad last week. Thank you for such a profound analogy. I needed that.