I love Saturdays. I love sleeping in; I love making a cup of coffee last for about four hours. I also love making plans and then re-arranging them because I slept in till noon.
This weekend was supposed to be a dreary day of rain and clouds. I selfishly asked the Lord for sunshine. I wanted beams of light and happiness as I reminisce over a weekend 12 years past that wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows.
I sat sipping my vanilla soy latte, making my grocery list and planning my menu. I read a little, wrote a little, and chatted with my bestie.
With the sunshine still beaming down on all of Shoreline, I headed out with my re-usable grocery bags and waited at the bus stop for my ride.
As I stood there, I started singing one of my Dad’s favorite songs, “The Unclouded Day.” I sang it loud and strong as I remembered the many things about him I loved and now miss.
In typical Elizabeth fashion, I bought veggies. A lot of veggies. So many veggies that my bags were bursting. This is not an unusual occurrence, however, I didn’t plan the bag situation so well. So they were extremely heavy.
I got off at my stop and started the short walk home. But man, were these bags heavy and my shoulders were really starting to hurt. Every 50 yards or so, I would set the bags down, give my shoulders a rest; and then carry on.
Walking past an empty lot, I saw a guy in a truck, talking on his cellphone, and my first thought was “Please don’t offer me a ride.”
What happens? He pulls along side me and offers me a ride.
And of course, I immediately start in with “no thank you”, because that is what you do when a stranger offers you a ride.
But he follows the offer with “I am a police officer”, and he shows me his card. And before everyone goes into a full-blown panic, it was legit. As the child of a former officer, these guys are the nicest around, super helpful, and if you were going to take a ride from anyone, it should be them.
With my shoulders screaming at me, I decided to accept the ride for the blessing it was. He told me he just joined the force with Lynnwood PD. I shared my dad was one of SPD’s finest for 15 years. He asked if my dad liked it. I said he loved it. When I said my dad was a narcotic’s detective, he said, “That’s so cool! I want to be in Narcotics!”
We pulled up to my place and he unloaded my groceries. I thanked him, shook his hand and walked away.
I walked up my to my door, bent over and started to cry. Twelve years ago (tomorrow), I sat in a hospital room, surrounded by police officers as my dad passed away from complications due to Hepatitis C.
Twelve years ago I stood on a beach and begged God to heal my dad, while I heard Him almost audibly sang ‘no’.
Today, I stood on my patio and wept. Wept because, I not only saw Jesus in the kindness of a stranger, but I saw my dad in the irony of whom my Good Samaritan wound up being.
There is a scripture that says God protects and cares for the fatherless. I don’t know how long the shelf life is for that, but I do know that today I felt like a treasured daughter whose Father(s) were looking out for her.
I miss his laugh every single day. I miss being able to share my crazy stories with him. I miss watching baseball with him, and making music with him.
I often wonder what he would think of me now. If he would be proud of me. If we would have loads of fun and highly dysfunctional shenanigans. I’d like to think that he would.
“Dad, if I could stand in front of you for just five minutes, I would hold on, and never let go. I would weep as I told you I loved you, and that everyday something happens I want to share. But most of all, I would tell you that no girl could be prouder of her dad than me. I had an inspiration human being for a dad, and a teacher that no classroom could ever produce. Thank you for teaching me about love, about family and most importantly about live and Jesus. (I also would like to thank you for a sense of humor, an unhealthy obsession with Wonder Woman and a deep appreciation for coffee)”
As you always said, “You are the apple of my eye, cutie pie – Love, Elizabeth”