One year in the third grade we decided after the school year was up in the town we lived in, we would go live with my Grams. The reason being my dad was constantly working. The summer was coming and he believed his work would lead to lots of late nights. Besides the town grams lived in wasn’t far. We could visit every weekend or drive over for the day.
This particular night during the week, Grams was making a run into town. So I asked her. Can we stop by on the way back to say hello to my dad? She knew being away was a bit harder on me then expected, even as a little girl my feelings have always been worn on my sleeve.
When we pulled up she told me to run on in, she would wait in the car. As I opened the door the muggy air took my breath away, the silence of the evening magnified the chirping of the bird and crickets, the sun was setting but not completely. I ran up on to the porch happy as a lark to see my dad. Opening the door the strange dark living room took my excitement a few notches down.
It wasn’t like my dad to be in bed? even if he was tired he would be in his recliner, it wasn’t dark outside at all yet? The dim light from his room in the back shinned a bit from the living room letting me know where he was. Heading back my thoughts raced a bit since it was out of his ordinary. There he was fully dressed, with a cover and a book laying over his chest. Which made me even more curious. So I walked over to the side of the bed and read the name of the book.
Living on The Ragged Edge.
Which instantly broke my heart, because he was laying there dressed, asleep with a book. I wasn’t really sure about what I was seeing. All I know was for the first time in my life instead of my dad hurting for me, it was me who hurt for him.
My reality then was blind sided because a good man decided to shield us by all the love he gave us in hopes the vacancy sign that hung from our door wouldn’t hang in our hearts. The truth had leaked that night and all the love he had bestowed on me was returned to him by my compassion which manifested from his love.
Realizing over time some of the best years of my life was not the best years of his. I turned off his light with tears in my eyes covering him up, walking into the now with heartfelt words Thank You for everything you have taught me, but mostly love to carry around especially in the dark to light my way back home.