Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Father (as in paternal parent, not God) (04/10/08)
TITLE: Sighs and Sorries
By Kristi Sands
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His simple sentence of regret was seemingly unnecessary. The situation that occurred earlier that evening was my fault, not his. While painting the exterior of my house, I left him standing on the ladder waiting. My duty was to return with a paintbrush, and I got sidetracked. He called out my name, and I didn’t hear. He waited longer, and I never came. I was forgetful, and he was frustrated. Eventually, he climbed down, retrieved his brush, and made mention of my delay. For some reason, his disappointment pierced me… as it always had. His sigh of aggravation was a familiar sound to me, a detested sound to say the least.
However, the paintbrush incident was one of those small things – one that if we just dropped it, wouldn’t matter later. It would be forgotten by the next time we saw one another. It was a moment of tension not a threat to the relationship. Interactions such as this occur frequently in close family relationships.
But this time my dad said he was sorry – a humble statement, a genuine heart, a turn in the right direction. At the end of the night, as he neared the door of his truck, he stopped, turned back to face me, and said, “Kristi… I’m sorry for getting frustrated with you earlier.”
Everything I felt an hour before was instantly erased. Surprise melted any hesitation I still held. I responded to him with a lighter heart – one that had still not fully processed the beauty of what he had just done.
Now today – almost a year later – I’m still grateful for that one little sentence. It’s one of the most unnecessary apologies I’ve ever received, and yet one of the most needed.
My heart has been blessed. My life has been tweaked. And I’m now very aware of the gift I’ve been given in my dad. I’d always misunderstood him before. I heard the sighs and missed the signs. Now, I see the sacrifices he has made for me. I see the love that he has felt for me. I see the pride that he has kept in me. And I feel it back.
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