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Sunday, May 16, 2010

My Daddy

     Just got off the phone with my daddy. He turned 79 this past December. We talked for 40 minutes about the garden, vacant land, leaky gutters and tomaters. It's raining in Meridian today and he told me he was lonesome. He got up early this morning and went down to his garden and found two of his butter bean plants weren't doing well. He then told me he dug through the deep freeze and found some old packets of canteloupe seeds, so he planted them. Maybe we'll have some later this summer.
      My dad is a diabetic and legally blind due to macular degeneration. Daddy said his arms were all bruised up because he had been working on the belt of the tiller and he couldn't see to do anything. He reminded me of the tiller. I remember it. I remember exactly where it always sat in the dirt floor of the barn beside the house. It' red and white and I always thought it would be cool to be able to use it. Man, that thing has got to be as old as me! It wouldn't pass all the safety requirements they have these days for sure.
      He wants a new four wheeler and he was insisting I bring his old one up here for my boys! Don't even get me started on all the reasons that is a very bad idea!  He's had a rough couple of years, but I've been working on patching things up for him since last May.
     I've always been daddy's little girl and I guess I still am. He calls everyday to see how Carrie Ann is doing. I'm proud of him. He has finally started to call her by her actual name and not what he thinks it is or should be. He doesn't like her name. Daddy thinks I should have named her Patricia, because it's a pretty name. He says he can't see her, but that she looks just like me when I was that age. I'll take it!
     I could hear the swing squeaking. He was sitting on the front porch, listening to the water dripping out of the gutter. Said he was probably going to walk up to the neighbor's house and ask him to come take a look at it, because he can't see anything.
     Then he said, you know what I really want? What daddy, what do you really want? All he wants is some fresh rootabeggas, collard greens, butter beans and a pan of cornbread. Some good cornbread, he said. He said momma used to make them all the time for him and she just loved it that he ate them so much. He reminded me of all the fresh vegetables and tomaters that we'd spend all summer picking and storing in the deep freeze. I remember all the picking, shelling, blanching, canning, and pickeling. I even remember the sound of the pressure cooker, very vividly actually. Those were the good ole days to him. He said he couldn't see to cook any of it anymore and that the people who live with him won't cook it right.
     Yes, I am trying my darndest not to cry right now. It breaks my heart that he is not being taken care of in the ways that he needs. I go down to Meridian about every other week, just to take him to the barber shop and to the dry cleaner's to pick up his clothes. He has taken his clothes to the cleaner's ever since momma died. Said nobody can get them as stiff! Seriously, his blue-jeans pant legs can stand straight up! He's probably the only person in the world who takes holey, worn-out jeans to the dry cleaner's!
     We had to end our conversation when my two boys started jumping all over me and demanding attention. He said, okay, he just wanted to call and check on his little girl. He meant Carrie Ann. Told me to take care of her. I will daddy, I will.


  1. You are such a good daughter, friend and person! Your daddy doesn't realized how blessed he truly is.

  2. Your post made me want to cry! It was sweet!
    Just keep doing what you can and you will not have any regrets.


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