My father was born in Dallas, Texas, on April 22, 1922. His given name was Edwin, but everyone called him Ed or Eddie. I was born some 30 years later; according to Mother, he was instantly enamored with me. “She’s special,” he told her, “I vow to give her a special place in my heart."
I remember sitting on his lap after dinner and sharing his coffee milk with him. “Blow some smoke rings, Daddy, please!” He’d oblige me; pull a cigarette from his shirt pocket; bring it to his mouth, and light it. He’d wave the lit cigarette like a fiery magic wand in front of me. “Abrakadabra!” he’d exclaim, blowing magical smoke rings toward the ceiling. For many years I believed Dad was part magician. I suppose he was. He certainly sprinkled magic on my days always bringing out the best in me.
Dad helped me grow in countless ways from baby shoes to sneakers, then high heels; from Girl Scout summer camp to my first date, then to my wedding day; from high school graduation to college graduation, then to teacher and businesswoman. He held me close when I needed someone to ease my fears, frequently wiping away my tears. He was with me through bloody cuts and ugly bruises, through smiles and tears, through screams of anger and shrieks of laughter. His calm strength, joyous spirit, and inspiration enveloped me giving me a deep sense of security. Through it all, he kept his vow, always making me feel special.
I recall the gentle, patient, integrous, and trustworthy man my father was. I can honestly say I never heard him raise his voice or say a disparaging word to or about another person. His eyes beamed with joy and kindness, and people felt lifted up just being in the same room with him. Dad was a man of few words, yet we frequently communicated without saying a word, taking solace in the silent understanding that passed between us.
Not a day goes by that I don’t think of my father, for our bond—forged long ago—remains. Despite my age, I still need him, his hugs, and his undying love. Although he’s passed, I feel his continued presence in my life. I often hear his encouraging voice coming from the gentle flapping of a butterfly’s wings as it flutters over flowers in my garden. I feel his soft strength on warm summer breezes soothing away my fears and drying up my tears. I feel his hope and confidence with every morning sunrise I witness. I frequently close my eyes, embracing his contentment with life as my own and gather strength in living in the present, and accepting what is.
I’m grateful for my father, for a lot of who I became was due in large part from what he taught me at odd moments when he wasn’t trying to teach me anything—those little scraps of wisdom I learned while simply being in his presence.
A teacher’s unexpected whisper, “You’ve got writing talent,” ignited Sara’s writing desire. Sara ignored that whisper and pursued a different career but eventually, she re-discovered her inner writer and began writing.
Her manuscripts have been published in anthologies and magazines including Chicken Soup for the Soul, Guideposts, Times They Were A Changing, and Wisdom Has a Voice.