1989-no particular weekday, 3:00 p.m.
The school bell rings.
We, (meaning as many girls as possible), pile into a car, make our mandatory laps on Main Street and go home.
I would always ask them to drop me off at my grandparents house.
One day I remember standing in the driveway. Right before they pulled off, they laughed and asked, “Why you wanna hang out with those old folks?”
Not really sure, I shrugged my shoulders and went on in.
Daddy would later swing by and get me on his way home from work.
I remember leaving their house one day and he said, “Sister, this is time you are never going to regret.”
He was so right.
Unconditional love. Papa and Granny were so good at it. I didn’t know how to explain it to my friends back then.
I just knew I needed it.
My home was broken, but theirs was not.
Inside those grey walls, all was right in the world.
When they were both gone, I was so sad.
Who is ever going to love me like that again?
And the sad answer is noone.
But it dawned on me this week with Hadley, I get to love her that way.
No expectations. No criticism. Just love.
Inside these walls this week, the world was right again.
I turned on my bluetooth and introduced her to her great granddad through the Bellamy Brothers. I sang and she laughed.
I don’t know where the past 30 years went but it was okay.
Daddy also told me the older you get, the faster it goes. Right again Daddy.
But the one set of instructions that gets me most, was the set he gave me for days like today.
He told me, “Don’t you feel sorry for me. I feel sorry for you. I remember what it was like to lose my parents and I know you are going to miss me.”
Oh Daddy, nothing you have ever said has been more true.
I do miss you.
And I am trying my best not to feel sorry for myself because I had you.
Your sweet simple mix of common sense and contentment made life so good.
I can hear you tell me to listen to the words of this song. We laugh. We always listened to people who misbehaved. Bob Seger, Eddie Raven, Earl Thomas Conley…
I promise I will get a better playlist before Hadley can repeat anything.
But for now, we are going to just sing.
Thanks for the instructions. For the first time in my life, I am really trying to follow directions.