I’ve always loved the quote “The truth sets you free”. Which is probably why I write here. I have found over the last few months that its true. Be real. Tell the truth. Don’t hide. OK!! I can do that. I can say what’s on my mind…sometimes to a fault. But it really does feel good. I’m careful not to hurt feelings, but I do say what’s on my mind. If you don’t, you should try it. It feels soooo good! Its freeing!
I always feel really great when I write what is on my mind and let those thoughts spill out for everyone else to read. It lifts a weight right off my shoulders.
I took a writing class this past week. I won’t lie. I started with negative thoughts. I just wanted my hours. Moving over on the pay scale as a teacher is big. And THIS class was going to make that happen. I had a purpose. But it had nothing to do with this class.
As I sat at listened, I was intrigued, but also annoyed. I really wanted to spend my last days of summer with my kids, doing fun summer things. I write. I love writing. But I was told I had to write fiction. WHAT??????? Where’s the essay writing? THAT I can do. So, clearly, this presented a challenge for me.
I struggled for a few days. I had no clue what I would write about. How in the world will I write a fictional story for adults? Then, of course, having children, a fictional picture book was an easy task. They set the plot daily. Done and done! THEN I found out I had to write a short story suitable for adults. Yikes! Fiction…for adults. I immediately failed in my own mind. Until I woke up one morning wishing I could chat with my dad, who I lost many years ago. This is what I came up with! And just so you know, I am forever grateful, once again I took this course. It always pulls out memories that I tuck away. It feels so good to pull these out from time to time.
She waited on the bench with her heart pounding almost out of her chest, even though the view was so peaceful. There was no one around. Just her and the birds. The leaves were a beautiful red and yellow blanket on the ground in front of her. She knew she was in the right place, because it looked just like the pictures she’d seen. With all the beauty surrounding her, she should have been calm and relaxed. But not on that day.
It had been years since she had seen him. So many questions about him flooded her mind. What would he say? Would she be able to hug him? Could she hold his hand? Would he know all about her recent struggles? Would he look the same? Has he aged like she had? Would he recognize her? She had changed. Since he left, she’d had another child, gotten divorced, and wore the face of her many trials that he wasn’t there for. Would he even show up? That thought only came to her while she sat on the bench and waited. Memories of their past raced through her brain. Like the time her first baby was born. He was right there by her side, just like he’d always been. And so proud. Or the time he drove three hours to dig her car out of a mile high snow drift. He would have done anything for her. He loved her. And she loved him. They had a special bond that could not be broken. So when he left so many years ago, her heart was broken. Her life felt like it had come to a halt. She wondered if she would ever see him again. She knew she would visit him in his new place, but she had no idea when she would make that journey. But today, she was going to get to see him for the first time in ten years!
She looked up and there he was, standing right in front of her. He had changed a bit. He looked younger actually. And peaceful. So very peaceful and relaxed. Much healthier than when she saw him last. He smiled at her and she smiled back. Fighting back her tears, she was able to say, “Daddy! Oh how I’ve missed you!” She stood and he embraced her. It had been so long since she had felt the comfort of his hugs. She didn’t want to let go, but she knew their time was limited. This was only going to be a short visit. He had to get back. So, they sat down and talked. She started to tell him about her children, but he stopped her. He already knew. He knew everything that had occurred in her life up to this point, all the way back to the day he left. He had been with her through it all. She had reached out to him for advice so many times, but she never heard from him. Hearing, from him, that he was in fact still her rock, lifted the heaviness from her heart almost immediately. She had often wondered about this. And now she knew with certainty that he would always be there for her.
He was proud of his daughter. He was proud that she remembered all of life’s great lessons he had taught her along the way. He especially loved her “spot on” impressions of him. She got to hear his giggle that she loved so much. She got to hold his hand. She got to hear his voice again. She had longed to hear that voice since the day he left. She got to spend thirty minutes with her dad. They were the best thirty minutes she could have hoped for. But they were also the quickest. Thirty minutes felt more like thirty seconds. And they were up.
She stood up and hugged her dad one last time. He said his final words to her. “I will see you again, when you come to me, many many years from now. Go enjoy your life with your family here on Earth. I will meet you in Heaven when your journey here is through.”
And just like that, he was gone. But not from her heart.
She was sure of that now.