There’s an epilogue to my previous post. The last time I spent with my Dad was two days before we lost him. He was retired and he and mom would drive up to visit and play with the adored only grandchildren (Jenn and Joe) maybe two, three times a week. He always enjoyed making or fixing things and this time he had crafted a swing for the kids to be hung from our big old mimosa tree on the side of the house. He needed help so I supported the ladder as he lifted the chains and twisted them around the largest and sturdiest limb of the tree. It was a hot and humid late afternoon and the sun was already starting to sink in the sky, a very peaceful and mellow time of day.
Dad was about three feet above me on the ladder and looking down at me when suddenly the golden rays from the sun reflected in his eyes. What happened next was a gift. My Dad was never one to loudly proclaim his love; he did it indirectly with a touch or the use of an endearing nickname. But looking up at him in that moment, time seemed to stop and I saw all the love in the world coming from his eyes. It was a silent and fleeting affirmation and yet I never felt more loved. The message was there in his eyes – a deep love, a proud love. I think we both sensed that something very profound had just happened as he seemed a bit embarrassed and we went back to the task at hand. Neither of us spoke aloud about what we had just experienced; we just let it be. That was the very last time I looked into my father’s eyes. And it was enough.