L. Sydney Fisher and her father, Landon C. Fisher about a year before he passed away.
This time of year is difficult for so many people who have lost loved ones. As the holiday approaches, I’m wishing you happy memories that fill your heart with joy rather than sadness. It is my sincere belief that our loved ones who have passed on want us to be living happy and prosperous lives, and I truly believe that they are nearer than you think!
I hope you enjoy the following memoir written some years ago. It was a 2nd place winner in a local writing contest. Merry Christmas from my house to yours!
I’ll never forget one Christmas Eve at K-Mart in Memphis, Tennessee. The stores were open late for last-minute shopping, and my dad and stepmom had rushed out to pick up some last-minute items on a Christmas list that had already surpassed even Santa. My eyes were wide with excitement and hope as I eyed the toys on the shelves still waiting to be bought. My daddy hobbled along beside me, one of his legs being shorter than the other as we walked up and down the aisles.
Suddenly, something caught my eye. I stopped and stared at the polished white boots and shiny silver wheels.
“Daddy, look!” I exclaimed. “Roller skates! Will you buy me these for Christmas, please? And they are even on sale.” I begged.
Daddy never said a word. He picked up the skate and inspected the price. “Gee, I’m sorry, Honey. I don’t have enough money with me. Maybe Santa will bring you some next year.”
My heart sank as I wandered off to a different aisle. Unknowing to me, my daddy would somehow manage to get those skates to the check-out stand without being seen.
The following morning at 6:30 a.m., I jumped out of bed and rushed to the den. As I stood staring at the mounds of presents beneath the tree, I noticed a brown paper sack sitting off to itself. I tore the bag open and buried my face inside. The sound of crinkling paper filled my ears as I stared at the shiny wheels and white polished boots that I had longed for just a few hours before. I squealed with delight as I pulled the roller skates out of the sack. And my dad stood watching me, a beaming smile of satisfaction on his face.
It’s true that I was spoiled, pampered, and treasured as a little girl loved by her daddy. Through the years, he patiently watched as I wore more make-up than Tammy Faye Baker and dressed in clothes much too tight for little girls to wear. He tolerated my strong will with a soft disapproval and a determination to teach me Christian morals. There was rarely a need for spankings from him since disappointing him would have been more punishment than he could have possibly administered.
A few years later as a budding young woman, I proudly watched my daddy tell the nurses about Jesus as he lay in his hospital bed hooked to feeding tubes and IV’s laced with morphine. When not in a drug-induced sleep, he spoke with conviction about the strength Christ had showered on him during his battle with cancer. As “Daddy’s Little Girl”, I bathed his face with a cool cloth and fed him cold, wet ice chips to soothe his dry mouth. I stood in awe and basked in his spirit each time this 85 pounds of flesh and bones mustered the strength to tell me I was his “sweetie pie”.
As a grown woman, I envision hugging my daddy each Christmas, and I never fail to recall the words he instilled in my soul so many times during my childhood when he said, “You know, someday you’re going to make something of yourself and be known as somebody really special.”
He fed me with encouragement, nourished me with love, and bathed me in righteous teachings that have continued to inspire me. If “Children Live What They Live”, as the saying goes, then the daddies who teach us about life and living such as mine must have the halos of angels about their heads. For today when I reminisce, I must say, Dear Daddy, I was somebody special the day God chose me to be your girl.”