– by Mary May Larmoyeux –
Sometimes, not as long as we think.
My friend Delores Bull and I are both in a local writing group. A few months ago our meeting included about ten minutes to jot down whatever ideas or memories danced through our heads. Delores created what I consider a family treasure as she allowed her pen to capture for future generation a story that she had told time and time again through words. She has given me permission to share it with you:
What Daddy Didn’t Say
by Delores Bull
The first eight years of my life were spent in the country with loving parents and a younger sister, and doing all the fun things you could do on a farm.
My dad was stern in his discipline but tempered it with love and humor. His favorite threat for disobedience was, “I’ll tear you up like a sow’s bed.” We found that so funny as all of our pigs slept in mud holes!
Every child dreams of a bicycle and my dream came true with a bright blue one purchased at a farm auction. Soon I was riding everywhere and not content to stay within my boundaries. I could see a steep hill not too far from our front yard and adventure began calling my name.
One afternoon my sister and I rode to the main road and pushed the bike to the top of the hill. With her safely secured on the handlebars, our flight began with our spirits soaring! But halfway down the hill, there was an altitude problem and the bike and its riders began to slide across the gravel road into a ditch. Our adventure was over and two bruised and battered little girls pushed a very battered blue bike toward home.
I can still feel the gentleness of my mother’s hands as she cleaned and bandaged our many wounds. Sardines never snuggled any closer than my sister and me as we lay on that old divan.
Soon we heard the chug of the tractor as it pulled into the yard. With the slam of the screen door, we knew our dad was home and with eyes tightly closed, waited for punishment to begin. Instead, moments later we heard footsteps leaving the room.
Fifty years later, that incident was never mentioned between my dad and me.
I know that many lessons have shaped my life. I learned not from what my father said, but from what he didn’t say.
I’d like to imagine a day many years from now, when Delores’ great, great-grandchildren read the little piece that she wrote about her dad. Although photographs will show them features of his face, Delores’ words will reveal a picture of his heart.
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Copyright © 2013 Mary Mary Larmoyeux. All rights reserved.
Photo © Mary May Larmoyeux