Monday, June 13, 2011

Daddy's Affection

RemembeRED prompt this week:

Choose a time when either the abundance or lack of affection (either by you or someone else) stands out, and show us. Bring us to that time. Help us feel what you felt.

Daddy could be a little strict, especially with the boys. But he had a way of smoothing it over. Bear hugging. Whisker rubbing. Hand holding.  Cheek kissing.  Affection.
I can’t remember anyone he wasn’t affectionate with. My brothers knew to give him a hug and kiss before bed. And mom, always greeted with warm touches and sweet kisses.  

This affection always calmed my fears, eased my hurts and took away the tears. It was never truer on that one day when everything changed for a little girl….

It was mid February and the chill in the air made me walk a little faster up the steep hill, once the bus spilled me into the driveway. Entering into the warmth of home I was taken back. Mom would always be waiting there, but today stood my sister who lived across the street. My look of question was answered with a guarded answer, “they would be home soon…appointment…they will explain”. The chill in the air from outside seemed to have drifted in with me.

It wasn’t long before mom…and dad came in. What was Daddy doing home? 

Something was different, a space between them I had never seen. Until that day. Somehow hidden, from a little girl’s view.  Mom’s face seemed twisted, her mind distant.

It was Daddy who took me by the hand. Brought me with him into that corner reclining chair. He sank in and brought me with him. The arms wrapped around, and his cheek touched mine. Fingers ran through his little girl’s hair. And with a shaky voice he told me what had happened today.

A divorce. An end.

And then he sobbed and I sobbed with him. He held me closer and kissed my forehead. Assured me of his love and how I would see him lots.

I couldn’t tell you what happened next. Or even my words with mom. I remember that moment, his tears, mixed with mine and the affection. It helped with the pieces of the puzzle trying to fit into the wrong spaces. The shattered reflection I had always seen.

Daddy had a way of smoothing it over. Bear hugging. Whisker rubbing. Hand holding.  Cheek kissing.  Affection.


  1. What a sad moment that must have been for you and your family. :( Wonderful post though!

    Blessings, Kisses & Coladas,

    Jenny @ Jems From Jenny

  2. This is really touching. You poured out so very much in this moment in time. I was right there with you- wanting to hug you both. Tight.

    These lines: "Bear hugging. Whisker rubbing. Hand holding. Cheek kissing. Affection." is so telling, so poetic.

  3. So sad. So well written. I like the sensory details a lot. I like the bus spilling you out. Check the first sentence: Daddy who--Just change to Daddy could?

  4. @Anonymous
    Yes, Jen, it actually amazes me how much that moment and the emotions have stayed with me for 36 years. And I truly never saw it coming!

  5. @Galit Breen
    Thanks Galit, always excited to see a comment from you. You are always so uplifting and encouraging.

  6. @Kelly Garriott Waite
    Kelly you are right. I am going to edit that. Thanks. There is another piece of it that I want to work on too. I started this a little late, actually very late (yesterday) and I didn't revise as much as I would like. Thanks for your input, very much appreciated!

  7. I want to cry. I want to hug you. I want to make that pain go away. Divorce is never pretty and never fun.
    {{hugs for you}}

  8. My heart breaks when I read a story like this. But I'm so glad you have such a loving father.

  9. How sweet and how sad all at the same time. Your father sound like such a sensitive and wonderful dad.

  10. This is so sad. There is never a good way to tell your kids that a divorce has happened....but there is some comfort in the fact that he was there giving you that hug.

  11. That is so, so sad. I could just see you in the chair, crying together. Truly heartbreaking..

  12. As the father of a little girl I hope that she remembers my hugs as always making it better.

  13. @lindsayfield
    Thanks are right, no matter what it is never fun, for anyone.

  14. @Elise
    He was quite a man, miss him very much. Writing this was good for me, reminding myself of him, thinking of his voice and his ways. His little girl loved him.

  15. @jen

    Thanks Jen...I am glad I was able to paint that for you!

  16. @From Tracie
    They protected me very well, and through the whole process and beyond. But it was still the end of what I knew.

  17. @Cheryl
    Aw thanks Cheryl. As a writer I do like to pull the reader into the emotion...sitting here reading these posts I feel bad for all this sadness. Maybe I should have focused more on the love and affection....but I think that IS what made it sad.

  18. @Jack

    Aww, my Dad's name....Jack. So you dear sir made my day! I am sure as most of us Daddy's girls she will, she defintely will.

  19. what a sweet moment. I am glad you remembered it with fondness, some children would have been afraid of the emotion, or be upset at the words. but i love that the affected softened it.

  20. @Jenna
    You are right, the affection is more memorable than the pain.

  21. I like how you describe the chill in the air and how it relates to your post. This is lovely but still I am saddened, of course. I am glad to know that he assured you he would most certainly still be in your life. :)


I would love to have some feedback. Let me know what you love...and let me know what you don't.