Dads. A few nights ago, the children asked me to tell them a story. They rolled off my tongue. Stories of Dad. They wanted wild animal stories. I asked if fish counted. They did. I told the story of one of many fishing outings with Dad. He took Jessica and I fishing. We both had a pack of gum and a SunDrop. I now know that was to keep us occupied. We fished and chewed gum and drank SunDrop. Jessica had JuicyFruit. I had Big Red. A five pack. We fished, chewed gum, drank SunDrop. These were forbidden fruits and delectable. We loved it. We sat and fished for what seemed like hours on end. I have a picture in my mind of Jessica next to me sitting. We caught a few and took them home to clean and eat. Dad gave us a spoon to get the scales off. We helped (watched) him fillet. The stomach was always cool. He saw a bump. We opened the stomach of Jessica's fish. There it was, a piece of her Juicy Fruit she had tossed out that very afternoon!One of many Dad stories.

We were on our way home from the July 4th party in a new town. All new people and a pool and fireworks. The kids had a blast. It was nice to meet people. We were tired. On the way home, I kept the children from crashing with the July 4th on a billboard story. Dad found the perfect spot to watch the fireworks. We climbed from the truck to the billboard ladder. We put out a quilt, settled into place and watched the firework display of our lives from a billboard. He was an adventurer. We loved it. We lost that Dad.

Today was one of those days. We were trying to get a few things done and it turned into a long day in the car. I was filled up from the festivities of July 4th and then it all crashed with trying to find a fax machine, a notary, and a place to fix a motorcycle tire. New towns are hard. I was mad and sad and felt like a little girl. George took the kids to check out a horse stable down the road. We will do a little horse training for Amelia. She is crazy about it.

I put some papers away. There was a CD in the drawer that said "Pastor Mirly". I started to cry. Dad. I missed Dad. He was Dad. I missed what a Dad is and Dad has been a very different thing for the Swett kids. Dad is something that was adventurous and wonderful and then tired and sick. Then gone. So grandpa was that, but he is gone now. I started to cry. "I need a DAD!" I said it out loud. No one around to hear.

Abuelo. Marcus. Dad. He is DAD. Pick up red phone. Dial Abuelo. He answers. Tears fall hard and pile one the floor next to William playing with a book. Oh what this does to the soul of a girl. A lady. A grown mom. A grown mom hears his voice and is loved and is loved deeply and wholly. He tells stories that relate to my world and he listens. I cry and cry and I know that my father hears me. My Father hears me. I am not fatherless.

I will never leave you or forsake you.


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