Saturday, June 18, 2011

Father's Day discovery an ocean away

My dad used to let us sit on a big old tarp and he'd run and drag it behind him. Better than any E ticket ride at WDW. He also turned that tarp into a tipi and told us the story of Pocahontas. Later, he was my choir director and my driver-to-get-everything-for-science-projects, etc.. He was diligent to keep a roof over our heads, AC and heat working, food in the pantry, clothes in the closets. He wasn't perfect but he was my Dad and I miss him this Father's Day and always.

I remember another Father's Day whose significance started some years ago when my husband and I toured Scotland. One morning, I got up very early, sleepless, and sat downstairs in the living room of this cute little old hotel in Ft. William. Another sleepless traveler on our tour soon joined me. It was a few weeks before Father's Day and he mentioned where his estranged daughter lived. He named my hometown without knowing it and a street less than a mile from my house. We were both amazed that I knew his daughter's neighborhood.

When we got home, I couldn't forget that. We got our photos developed and I thought about delivering one of him to the daughter. He had told me her name. Would I be butting in where I was not welcome? Why were they estranged? Did he abuse her, or something? Would I just be opening old wounds? We're called to forgive. We don't have to put ourselves back in harm's way.

I prayed. And kept praying. What should I do?

Finally, I couldn't stand it anymore. The night before Father's Day, I looked her up in the phone book, drove to her house, and rang the bell. Thank goodness, she came to the door. I introduced myself and handed her the photo. She was amazed. I told her we had traveled with him, that he missed her. "Tomorrow's Father's Day. Maybe you'd like to give him a call." She thanked me and I left.

I don't know what happened. I never heard from her. But maybe there was a reconciliation. I pray for that.

All I could think was that, sitting there in Ft. William, Scotland, across the Atlantic Ocean and thousands of miles from our homes, her father and I discovered that out of all these United States, towns, and streets, I lived near his daughter. I knew what I had to do. What would you have done?

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