Wednesday, September 03, 2008


The last night. No amount of wishing, foot-dragging or thought-pushing could change the fact.

With three matching sighs, they gathered the pinochle cards and stuffed them into their box. They'd each won a game tonight. A good way for the last games of the year to work out.

She stood. Stretched. Then, she walked over to the French doors and looked up. "Dad, have you seen the stars?"

The men had already crossed the room, headed for the kitchen. They stopped when she spoke.

"No, I haven't. How are they?"

"Bright. Lots of them tonight."

"Go take a look, Pop. I'll turn out the lights."

The lights grew dim before the room became full dark. She turned, her gaze catching their profiles in the large room. Her husband stood by the switch. Her father, who had begun walking back to her before the turn of the switch, stood stock-still in the center of the space. Knowing instinctively he'd lost his direction, she took a step forward.

"Stay there. I'll come get you." When she reached his side she put one hand on his nearest shoulder. Then she slid it down his arm and clasped his warm hand in hers. "Follow me, Dad. It's just a few steps."

"Want me to turn the lights back on?"

"Nope, we've got it," she called over her shoulder.

When they reached the doors they pressed their faces against the glass, looking out and up. The sky seemed dotted with thousands of tiny points of light. For a moment no one spoke. Then, from the darkness, a sigh. This time, not a sigh of regret but one of wonder.

"Beautiful, aren't they? We don't see this in Florida...too many lights."

"It is incredible," she agreed. "Our own lightshow, every night. So pretty...hey Dad, isn't that the Big Dipper? Over there, just above the hill?"

", I don't think so. It's..." He leaned down a little, craned his neck sideways. Pointing, he said, "over there. To the left. Do you see it?"

She followed his lead, bending lower and twisting her head to the right angle. There. He was right. "I do. It's beautiful, isn't it?"

"Mmm, it is."

They stood shoulder to shoulder for a few minutes. Their breathing syncronized and a sense of peace washed over them. This was something they knew how to do. The first time she'd watched the stars he'd held her in his arms; now she guided him.

Finally he said, "They look so close, don't they?"

"They do."

"So close, yet so far..." He sighed, shook his head and put his arm around her shoulders.

Like New York and close, yet so far.


Anonymous said...

Beautiful. You're going to miss him. But he's coming back early next year isn't he? I hope your dad isn't in the vicinity of the next hurricanes!



Dru said...

That is so sweet. I know you'll miss him and he you. He'll be back soon. {{{{Sarita and dad}}}}

Anonymous said...

So sweet. He'll be back, though, right?

If he's in Florida, is he in a place to be out of the hurricanes' paths?

Unknown said...

What a wonderful relationship you and your husband have with your father. How fortunate for everyone!

I'm wondering what Amy's your dad out of harm's way? I'm sending prayers he'll be fine!

Hugs to all of you.

Anonymous said...

Another warm and fuzzy posting. Loved it!

Aussie Jude

Anonymous said...

Another warm and fuzzy posting. Loved it!

Aussie Jude

Kara Lynn Russell said...

I love the way you write so beautifully about everyday life. I think a collection of these blog posts would make a great book.

Congratulations on the release of Legal Tender and I'm glad you enjoyed your visit with your Dad. Hope you aren't feeling too down now. I'm one of those people who gets a little down after vacations, holidays, and things like that. Things will be looking better soon, I know.