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Dancing with Daddy

by Janet Leonard

My brother-in-law phoned the other day to say that while he was going through some very old photographs, he found a dynamic picture--

one that maybe I had never ever seen, one that he knew that I would love and cherish. I laughed it off and thought, "Well, that's nice." We never spoke of the theme or contents of the photo.

When mail was delivered a few days later, I recognized his handwriting immediately on a five-by-seven-size brown package. After viewing a few bills and advertisement flyers, I picked up the package and opened it.

It was a picture that I had never seen--

one I will always treasure. I looked carefully as I embraced the framed photo like a newborn baby.

He was a younger version; I, too, was younger, probably nineteen years old or so. He was dressed in a white shirt with a pencil clipped on the front pocket like he always used to have; this pocket held his black eyeglass case, too. I was wearing a light coral, V-necked, long-sleeved, silky dress. I remember that gold Love Bead necklace from high school days! Soft curls from shoulder-length hair framed my face. I had his left hand in mine; he had his pipe within his fingers, too. Our facial expressions were the same during this captured moment. We were dancing and laughing... laughing and dancing...in my sister's kitchen.

I have a memory picture now that I can view any time. I'm laughing and dancing with my daddy...my daddy.

Sure, today, Father's Day 2005, six years and three months since his death, stirred some memories of that wonderful man in my life called Daddy, but having this picture made the day easier. I stared deeply into our faces and remembered the joy of the moments and felt for a moment that I could hear the music we were dancing to--was it "In the Mood" by Glenn Miller's band, Daddy's all-time favorite? It just may have been that song as we laughed and danced in my sister's kitchen.

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Copyright © 2005 by Janet Leonard. All rights reserved.