It was a beautiful Saturday morning much like today. I was in Oklahoma. I had awoken from fitful sleep and a nightmare, crying because I saw my dad in my dreams waving goodbye.
My friend was coming to pick me up from where I lived in Stillwater to take me to Edmond to his mother’s for Memorial Day weekend. I was recently divorced from my oldest son’s father and quite depressed, and Rob said I could get away, relax, and his mom would feed us. I could also make some extra money and mow her lawn.
Early the next morning, Rob brought the phone to the guest room. It was my sister calling from Florida. I knew right away.
She said, “Are you sitting down, Sis?”
Tears began to fall as I said, “Yeah.”
“Daddy passed away yesterday around noon here.”
I began to wail. My friend and his mother tried to console me, but I thanked them and asked them to give me a moment to get dressed.
When I went into the kitchen Mrs. Lyle had coffee ready. Pouring a cup, I thanked her and sipped it slowly, politely refusing breakfast.
The sun had begun to rise on those Oklahoma plains. I looked out the sliding glass door at the brilliant reds, golds, and pinks hovering just above the horizon. I asked Rob if he would help me get the mower ready.
He and his mother watched me with sympathy and disbelief from their position at the sliding glass door as I mowed and trimmed her lawn, all while crying and singing songs my Daddy and I used to sing together.
Memorial Day weekend has never been the same.
Today, 28 years later, I wish I could pick up the phone just to hear his voice. Maybe we could go fishing, or he would throw one of his famous BBQ’s and a bunch of people would gather to eat, drink, and listen to music.
I could tell Daddy all about his grandkids, my successes as a new author, and how I had finally found love and happiness.
He could smile and look at me with those piercing hazel eyes, sometimes green, gray, or smoky blue, and say, “I’m proud of you, Kimmie.”