Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Happy Feet (SOL17 #15)

There are many things that stick out in my memory about my dad, but one of my favorites was his happy feet. If you had ever met my father you probably wouldn't associate the word happy with the man. To be quite honest he was often very serious and grouchy, and didn't smile a whole lot. There were few things that signaled his happiness but one of them was his feet. 

My dad had a special chair in our house. It was his beloved lazy boy recliner. He could sit in that recliner for hours with his feet in the air barking out orders, relaxing after a long day at work. Like I said, my dad wasn't much of a smiler, but there was a few things that did make him happy. One of the things that made him happy was taking on the phone. Not to just anyone, but those special people that I'm sure made his heart feel light. When those particular people would call, my Dad would listen talk while his feet would shake or wag back and forth, much like a dog's tail. I would point it out to my Mom and poke fun at him. The second he heard that that, he would try his very best to stop, but his feet just wouldn't listen. The struggle was real. His feet wagging showed his true affection for whoever was on the phone. 

When I was seventeen my Dad spent some time in the hospital. He was very sick and would slip in and out of a coma.The doctors and nurses said that they thought he could hear us, so I  stayed with him in his room as much as I could and would talk and talk to him. Had he been able to converse with me, he probably wouldn't have told me to shut up and go away, but at that point he was kind of a captive audience. 

One night, my mom and I were visiting and talking in his room. I was telling her about how I needed to buy something for school and all of the sudden I saw those feet wagging back and forth. This was the first time I had seen him move in days so I decided to talk to him. "Daaaad, I have to buy them! It's not that much money," I whined. The feet started going again. "Stop being such a grouch," I added. The feet stopped. "Daddy, do you love me?" The feet started shaking back and forth rapid fire. "Do two shakes if you love me." The feet wagged back and forth twice. I was floored. 

The conversation continued on for a few minutes with us asking questions and my Dad responded with his feet. Eventually he got tired, or just bored with talking to us and stopped responding. So we finished up our visit, kissed him on the forehead and left for the evening telling him that we would see him the next morning. 

The next morning didn't go exactly as we expected. We awake to a call from the hospital telling us to come quickly. We didn't make it to the hospital in time to say goodbye, but I like to think that he did that purposely. I think that he wanted to let us have a memory that was on his terms letting us know how much he cared. 

These are three of my favorite pictures of my Dad as well as a picture of the tattoo I had done in memory of him. 

1 comment:

  1. What a special piece you've written here. I love the title and I love what happened on the night before your dad died. Thank you for sharing.