Wednesday, January 7, 2009

I Love You, Daddy

We all seem to have so many ideas about what to expect when we if we could really know for sure, or understand. I reckon I just expect to be in a world of spirits, and I hope I'm where the good ones are and that God is right there to help me outta the boat when I pull onto shore on the other side of the "Jordon River".

And if He can't make it, I hope my dad will. I dreamed about my daddy a couple nights ago....had a real pleasant visit....a very nice, "warmful" dream. It was just like being getting another chance to go back and be with him. He's been gone now for 43 years this month.....and...well, I do still miss him. Just didn't get enough time to be with him at only 17 years old. More than some, but still not enough for me. I still remember his smell, his feel , his hands, his smile, his laugh, his eyes. Hugged him goodbye the morning of the day he died. Went into his bedroom, woke him up, he gave me some money to buy a new mouthpiece for the tuba I played in band at North Charleston HS, I leaned over the bed and gave him a nice, warm goodbye hug, and never saw him alive again. Interestingly, I went downtown after school to a music store to buy the mouthpiece, and started back home, driving by the hospitals. The thought came to me that maybe I should stop and call the preacher at church to see if someone might be in the hospital and me go visit them while I was already all the way down there. Then, I thought, "no, MaryNell (my “mom by choice”) might have supper waiting and I'd be late and I shouldn't do that to her." As it turned out, my dad was down there, alive, in the hospital, right then. John (my other dad) had taken him down there a little earlier and left MaryNell at home to come down with me when I got there. So, I got home and MaryNell was saying we need to hurry, your dad is in the hospital. We jumped in the car and drove right back down there. When we drove into the parking lot, it was raining hard, and John was standing in the parking lot, soaking wet, waiting on us. We stopped and he opened my door, and bent down, crying, and took my hand, and said, "Your dad has died." I'm just glad that John was with him when he died. I was so stunned, I didn't know what to do. I had "imagined" it happening, due to daddy's "preparation talks" to me, but, it's not possible to imagine such a thing as real. I had gotten out of school some of November and about all of December to drive him to Florida to see his heart doctor. He was taking nitro-glycerin pills like candy. We spent one night on the way down there at, what in those days was known as, a "tourist home". On that trip, he hand-wrote a will and had me and another person sign it as witnesses. He talked to me as though he was not going to make it, trying his best to prepare me for what was to come. I can't imagine a 73 year old man trying to relay to a very naive 17 year old that his daddy was probably going to die. He was put in the hospital, of course, down there. I stayed with a couple that he knew, while he was in the hospital. Daddy had a another heart attack while in the hospital, but, eventually got well enough that the doctor let him go back to SC. This was before the days of open heart surgery. I think it was thought that you would die immediately if someone touched your heart. We went to my oldest brothers house in Greenville, SC. He had given the property, on the side of Piney Mountain, and a small house, to Bill, my oldest brother, for a wedding present. Bill lived in that house till he died in 2005. Daddy stayed there and rested for a number of days. He was back at John and MaryNell's after the holiday's. He died in Charleston, SC, January, 1966. We moved him back to Greenville to rest his body there, since he loved the area so much. He was a jolly, positive, sincere, helpful, warm and loving man, and I loved him very much. I'm sure he wasn't perfect, who is, but, I didn't "see" any part that wasn't....even if I "saw” it. Anyway, the dream was a real pleasure. I reckon it's God's way of comforting us sometimes when He sees we could use it....and appreciate it. So, thank You, God....very, very much!

Stanley :)


Tammy said...

I'm not sure I have ever heard that story. I'm having a hard time seeing the keyboard to type for the tears sreaming down my face. I wish so much that I could have met him and that you could have had more time with him. That is so neat that you had that dream.

Sandi Wakefield said...

Wow! I am so glad you are writing down stories like these. I have never heard all of that. It makes me realize what a blessing it is to still have you around. I love you so much.