Trail of a Heart 2 – First Love

 In Autobiography

I still see him, standing there, a glint in his eye, the left leg slightly forward, resting on his bread delivery truck. I can’t believe he could have always just eaten, but he seemed to never be without a toothpick dangling from his relaxed mouth. No matter.

To me, he was the most dashing, handsome man I had ever seen. My heart would almost burst when he would laugh out loud at something I had said or done. Without articulating it, or even understanding how it happened, my goal became to make him smile. To see his eyes sparkle for me. This was my love, my dad.

Little girls are supposed to love their daddies, and I sure did. There are so many vivid memories of those days. Being in the middle of five girls, I remember wondering how my father noticed me. I was fairly typical at making myself known, distinguishable.

One memory is that Daddy said he didn’t like his foam pillow and every night it would be a race to see which of we kids could trade pillows with him. I did everything I could do to be first every night. I won so often, that after a while Daddy gave me the pillow.  You would have thought that would have satisfied me, to finally win once and for all.  But, in reality I was enjoying winning my father over and over again so it was a hollow victory.

I can only remember once getting a spanking from him, even though I know that can’t be true given my mischievous nature. It was unusual for me to ever push the limits with my dad because I wanted so desperately to receive his approval. Usually I got in trouble with him when I was called to account for the ill treatment I had given my mom. The spanking I do remember was when as a young teenager I had been caught in a lie I had told him.  He had no patience for deception.

It’s interesting to note that my values are pretty much what he instilled in me. My mother certainly made an effort to impress me with her code for living, and I am sure that much of how I do things came from her, but it was my father who influenced me on my sense of right and wrong.

Daddy was all about hard work and being accountable.  I soon discovered that the best way to his heart was to do a job well.  I catch myself still watching for the gleam in his eye, the smile curling at his lips even now as I complete projects even though Daddy died several years ago. In actuality he had known little of my accomplishments for many of the preceding years as we had lived 1500 miles apart most of my adult life.

Watch for next installment

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