The Father Who Loved Me

Father’s Day. It’s weird to have a father who doesn’t remember you. One who will smile at the splashy greeting card the nursing home attendant with the broad brown face and sparkling eyes opens for him. A father whose lips may form the name “Elizabeth” but whose mind won’t conjure my face.

My father no longer remembers a single fact about my life. He doesn’t remember teaching me to swim when I was four-years-old, or the chest-swelling pride he felt attending my graduations, or sniffling as he walked me down a flower-strewn aisle. He doesn’t remember that I followed his footsteps and became a teacher, or that I made him a grandfather for the first time.

But I remember my father and his love, his really silly sense of humor. He would call me every year on my Birthday at 9:03 am, the time that I was born, and tell me how much I had always meant to him. The phone has kept silent the last four years. But at 9:03 on my special day in September, I know I’ll remember and send up a little prayer. Of gratitude for the father who loved me well.

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