Sitting on a bench, slightly in the shadows, I saw a man standing in the glow of the lamp post. His posture revealed he had lived past the half century mark. His head was covered well under a smooth felt hat, no hair showing to give hints of hair that might be the colors found in nature or a dull grey. He seemed to be awaiting a ride, antsy, but persistent, unsettled and pacing. Thirty minutes passed, my book in my lap and only two pages read. I marked my place and tucked it back in to my purse.
Ten more minutes passed and I heard footsteps approaching. There appeared an attractive young woman with long chestnut colored hair, in a long flowing red coat. In her arms, protectively she carried a beautiful blond little girl in a fuzzy white coat wearing a pair of black Mary Jane’s. The young child looked to be about four years old. Apparently, she was the mother of this cherubic little girl. Gently, she sat the young child ‘s feet on the sidewalk. The child ran in the direction of the elderly man I had been watching. He became animated and excited and scooped up the child in to his arms. A few seconds later, the woman was being embraced by the elderly man. Laughter and the voices of this family reunited were the only noise I heard in this cool autumn night.
I sat transfixed by the love I saw in this family I couldn’t help but to burst in to a smile as this newly reunited family walked by. From the conversation I heard, the elderly man was the father of the adult woman and a grandfather to the gorgeous angelic child, now being carried in the loving arms of this proud grandfather.
I looked in to this man’s face, I saw some lines but his eyes twinkled and I could picture these eyes in the face of a young boy that loved football, baseball, girls and hopped up cars. I noticed something else, the little girl’s eyes matched the color of her grandfather’s, a beautiful shade of azure blue with the tiniest fleck of green. They walked by in the direction of the parking lot and I heard the little girl say, ” Paw Paw, I love you and I never forgot about you! ” As she spoke this, he hugged the little girl tighter and a stream of tears ran down his cheeks…
There is a reason I wrote this story, I’m well acquainted with the characters, for you see, the elderly man was my daddy, I was the lady in the red coat and my daughter Wendy Renee’ Parris Uptain was the beautiful little blond girl. My daddy passed away when my daughter was only four and a half years old. In my imagination, I created how I thought it would be if we went to pick him up in a place on earth. Of course my daddy drove a Cadillac and was very independent. No one would be picking this well cultured man up. He would be in the seat of a Cadillac dressed to the nines with that confident look that protected me all of my life.
It is not on this earth that I will see my daddy again. It will be in that fair city with the pearly gates, streets paved with gold, where we never grow old. We will never know of sickness, pain or grief again. We will abide with our Heavenly Father, the King of Kings.
My daddy always sang to me as we rode home from church, singing, ” I’m going to have a little talk with Jesus.” He had a beautiful alto voice that I will never forget…