" My father didn't tell me how to live. He lived,
and let me watch him do it. "
CLARENCE BUDINGTON KELLAND
I'm missing my dad today, especially looking at these photos of the two of us. I don't recall this particular occasion anymore—I was three years old at the time—but I love how they make me feel when I look at them. In the above picture, I get a sense of camaraderie and intimacy. My dad crouches to be on his little girl's level; he holds her hand, and they are both smiling for the camera, obviously happy in the moment.
In the picture below, against that vast mountainous background, I still get a sense of intimacy, but with it more a sense of protection. Sitting on the edge of that timber fence against what looks like a long drop down, there she is tucked in, secure, her daddy's arm closely wrapped around her.
" I cannot think of any need in childhood as strong
as the need for a father's protection. "
My dad was a quiet, reserved man and a man of few words. He rarely chatted about anything, never mind shared his feelings with us. And so sometimes I didn't feel what I can so clearly see today in these photos. Any little child that came to him, first me, then my younger siblings, and then any little ones who would visit often ended up on his lap, playing or snoozing on his chest, always welcome, always protected and cared for. As I grew, that place near him on his lap was overtaken by younger siblings, and I don't know for sure, but I wonder if I must have missed those times with my dad. For as I got older I felt he grew more reserved with me; it seemed he was his freest self with babies and toddlers; I saw that especially when his darling grandchildren came.
It has been a balm today for my own soul to take out these old black and white pictures and to catch hold of something I did not see until I was a lot older. I see afresh what the camera had captured sixty years earlier—a young father loving his little girl, who happened to be ME! And I hold that close to my heart, for today I am missing him.
I'll close with a spiritual musing. For these pictures have also shown me something about my heavenly father. That he will come down to my level—Jesus did that when he came to earth to be 'God with us'. He takes my hand and lets me know he is near. He also holds me close to himself when things look a little dicey and scary. I am glad to remember such a thing about Him in these upside down times.
* * *
" A father's tears and fears are unseen,
his love is unexpressed (in words), but his care and protection
remain as a pillar of strength throughout our lives. "
AMA H. VANNIARACHCHY
* * *
Happy Father's Day, dearest Dad. I love you!