Sunday, April 5, 2015

An Easter Sunday Memory From Long Ago

Happy Easter everyone!  Since my copywriter has the day off (ha!), I thought I’d take a break from reviews and tell a little story. 

My pup has a crystal clear way of letting me know when it’s time to go on our daily walk.  He suddenly appears, sitting at attention, staring at me with bright sparkling eyes and an undeniable air of expectation.  The intensity of his message varies in direct correlation to the weather.  On a beautiful afternoon like today, there was just no avoiding his request.  So, off we went.

Because there are long stretches of sidewalk that are not adjacent to private property, we generally take our constitutionals in a nearby neighborhood rather than our own.  (Dog walkers will understand.)  Our walks often result in various friendly encounters.  Today, we came upon a Rockwell-esque tableau. 

On a quiet neighborhood street, we passed a father teaching his young daughter to ride a pink kick scooter.  She tried and tried but couldn’t quite get the hang of it.  Dad was right there encouraging her, steadying her and giving pointers.  Several times, she got moving but lost her balance.  Dad caught her or stabilized her every time she was in danger of falling.  She was clearly giving it her all, desperately wanting to master that skill.  I nodded and smiled as we passed.  We continued on our regular route which included a U-turn at the end of that street.  A bit later, we again came abreast of the Dad and daughter.  Her scooter skills had noticeably improved in the ten minutes or so that had passed.  Dad was so focused on teaching and protecting her that he never even saw us pass the second time.  We kept on walking.  About 20 yards later, I heard a shout of "I did it!" from the exuberant little girl.

Something about that scene caused the mists of time to shift in my mind.  Suddenly there was another little girl, about the same age, who routinely accompanied her Daddy on local errands.  She was a happy tow- headed child whose father adored her.  The feeling was mutual.  She often found herself in places that 6 year old girls didn’t usually frequent, like the lumber yard, the hardware store, an electronics repair shop, the bank and the post office.  She tagged along wherever he went, picking up odds and ends of random information and playing whenever and wherever the opportunity arose.  Her father beamed with pride and bragged about her tiny accomplishments to anyone who had the patience to listen.

One beautiful Easter Sunday, the little girl’s mother dressed her in a white frilly dress with matching white patent shoes.  Money was tight but the mother thought a special Easter outfit was in order for her daughter.  The young family went to church, celebrating the occasion in their holiday finery.  Afterwards, her Mommy went home to prepare an Easter feast and her Daddy took her along on a few errands he needed to run.  He was self employed, so holiday or not, his work never took a break. 

Soon they found themselves at a blacksmith shop.  Her father had some business to discuss with the blacksmith so, as usual, the little girl busied herself with play.  Her father’s back was turned as he talked to the blacksmith.  After a while, the blacksmith noticed what she was doing and told her father to have a look.  He turned around and there was his pride and joy, scrambling around in a huge pile of coal.  Every inch of her and the beautiful new white dress was covered in black soot and she was having the time of her life!

The blacksmith said to the father “You better grab her; I think you’re going to be in a LOT of trouble when you get home”.  Her father just laughed and said “Let her play; she’s having fun and there’s no way to make things better at this point”.  After he finished his business, he extricated his filthy sidekick from the coal pile, mopped her off as best he could and took her home.  I don’t know what words passed between the Mommy and Daddy but I do know how loved that little girl was.  Her father has gone on ahead now but the same kind of love was evident today as another little girl’s Daddy taught her to ride a scooter.

~ You ask me how I know He lives; He lives within my heart! ~
(Alfred Henry Ackley)    

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