Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Father (as in paternal parent, not God) (04/10/08)
TITLE: My mama's daddy
By Pamela Bridgeman
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He prayed for the sick and the shut in. He prayed for folks to stop hurting each other and for wars to end. This man of few words besought the Lord long and loud on behalf of the poor, the needy, the destitute, and the forsaken. Importantly, he prayed for me.
A man of integrity, he kept his word until the end. I’d sit on the front porch with him, my feet making bumping noises against the swing because my legs were too short to hang beneath the seat. His laughter was kind as he’d promise me that one day my feet would touch the floor. Then he would point to a mountain range in the distance and say, “That’s Lookout Mountain. I’m going to take you there before I die.” And one morning without preparation or heads-up, he did.
It was a Saturday. The sun shone and the smell of honeysuckle and freshly bloomed roses wafted through the air. Giggling, I caught a monarch butterfly and held it in my hand as he ushered me into his ’64 Ford. He was more somber than I ever remember him being; still, he held my hand and joked with me as we moved sideways through Fat Man’s Squeeze and peered over the sharp precipice at Lover’s Leap. We never got a chance to talk about how fun that day was because I slept all the way home. When I woke the next morning he had been taken to the hospital. Maybe we’ll talk about it when I get to heaven.
A daddy kisses your head and tells you that you’re the best daughter in the whole wide world. A father trains you, comforts you, provides for you, fosters character and instills values in you. He was my mama’s daddy; but Paw Paw was a father to me.
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