Thursday, June 19, 2014
Cup of Joy
Shiny penny, bobby pin and pocket knife
I returned home to Holly Springs from my weekend trip to Benoit on Sunday night. I had traveled to the small Delta town to see my dad for Father’s Day.
I got in quite late – about 12:30 a.m. or so – typical traveling time for me.
As I prepared for bed and began to undress, I stuck my hand in my jeans pocket and remembered its contents as I pulled the objects out and held them in my hand – a shiny penny, a bobby pin, and my Case pocket knife. I stared at the objects carelessly laying in my hand that had so carefully been placed in my pocket throughout the weekend. As I stared, my mind flowed over the days with my father, and I felt the tears flow over my eyes.
“Here’s something for you, Daddy.”
“What is it?”
“A shiny new penny.”
I placed the penny in the palm of his hand.
With a wry grin, he said, “Naw, you better hold on to it. You never know when you might need a penny.”
Just a couple days before, I had noticed something was wrong with my car – my tires. Over the phone, my father instructed me to use “the penny method.”
“Put Abe’s head in between the treads. How much of his head do you see?”
“All of it.”
“Baby... you need new tires.”
With new tires and having traveled a couple hundred miles to see him, my father took me to a local gas station to check the pressure in my new wheels. Before I entered the store to get change for the air pump, I found a shiny new penny on the ground – Abe was facing straight up.
The bobby pin:
I was fixing my hair. Momma and Daddy and I were going to get out for a little while; it was a beautiful Saturday. I was in the bathroom. I had something particular on my mind – something I had been talking to my father about – something that only a daddy can console – a broken heart.
I tried to stay focused on my hair, placing the bobby pins precisely where I needed them, but it was of no use. I fell against the wall and braced myself against the toilet. My father either heard the thud or the sobs – he came into the bathroom. I buried my face in his chest - he just held me and said, “Baby, it’s OK to cry.”
The pocket knife:
As I drove home Sunday night, my father called to check on me. I told him where I was on my trek home.
“Daddy, where’s the closest gas station to where I am?”
“I don’t know baby, but I can find out. Wherever you stop, you need to be very careful this time of night.”
“I will, Daddy – I’ll be careful.”
I stopped in Batesville to fill up. It was about 11:30 p.m. As I got out of the car, I slipped my Case knife that my parents had given me for Christmas into my pocket. I didn’t plan on using it, but I had told my Daddy I would be careful. And if someone had planned on messing with me, they had better have been careful how they did it.
In my bedroom, I continued to stare at the objects as I carefully placed them on my dresser, and I praised my Heavenly Father for my earthly father.
I don’t know who had the happier Father’s Day, my daddy or me.
If I have to tell you that my daddy loves me, you’ve missed the point of my story, but I’ll say it anyway – my father loves me more than my mere words can express. I know this because he shows it in ways like these every day. And I love him.
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