Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Easter (05/30/05)
TITLE: I Want to Dance with my Father, Again
By Deborah Anderson
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As I sat there, the repetitious clinking sound of the rain hitting my car lulled my thoughts to another time.
“Hey, Dad,” I said.
“Well, how’s my little girl today?” he asked. Dad raised himself up in the hospital bed, and flashed me a huge 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,” Dad said, beaming. He held up the little, stuffed, Easter chick with pride. It was light pink, with feet made out of orange felt material 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, Dad.”
“Thank you, honey,” he said. 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?” I asked. His lip began to quiver again. His non-verbal communication had answered my question.
“So, how are you feeling today, Dad?”
“I’m feeling pretty good, little girl.”
“When are they going to let you come home, then?” I asked.
“I don’t know, little girl. We’ll have to wait and see what the doctor says.”
“I miss you, Dad. I want you to come home…now.”
“I know,” he said. “I miss you, too.” He gently patted my cheek with his hand.
Dad had been in and out of the hospital numerous times due to illness. I wanted him home. I wanted things to be as they used to be, before he got sick. I remembered the fun times we shared together, as I stood there looking at my father.
“Are you ready, little girl?” Dad asked. 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 said.
I jumped up from the chair and attempted to wiggle my fanny the way Dad was doing with his.
“Look, Mother,” he said. “Look at her go, Ev.” Dad cackled as he showed Mom the professional dancer he was molding.
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.
He laid his head back on his pillow and closed his eyes. Within seconds, he was snoring.
I reached over 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 my father.
“I love you, Dad,” I whispered. I put my fingers to my lips, kissed them, and gently transferred my silent affection to him, barely touching his forehead.
A knock on my car window jolted me back to reality. It was a fellow church member.
“Hey, Deb. Is everything okay?” she asked.
“I’m fine,” I said. “I’m just waiting for the rain to die down.”
“Okay, just checking on you,” she said.
I hadn’t even noticed the rain had stopped.
I looked up at my rearview mirror at the pink, Easter chick dangling before me. It was hard to believe I had purchased it for my Dad just a few years before. I missed him terribly. Tears filled my eyes, and Heaven cried with me, as the rain began to fall again.
I jumped out of my car, and bolted for the church.
The service started with praise and worship. I stood from my seat, as my Heavenly Father beckoned me. I took His hand, and began to sway to the music.
I was dancing with my Father.
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