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Beyond My Reach, but Not My Heart

Story ID:5177
Written by:Michael Timothy Smith (bio, link, contact, other stories)
Story type:Story
Location:Caldwell Idaho USA
Year:2009
Person:Fathers
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Beyond My Reach, but Not My Heart



Beyond My Reach, but Not My Heart

I opened the large envelope from my
daughter on Father’s Day. It arrived early
that year. Ginny hid it from me until that
morning. The card had six flaps in decreasing
sizes, each marked with a letter from the word
“Father”.

I turned the flaps one-at-a-time and read
the personal notes hidden behind each
letter. At letter “T”, my vision began to blur.
By the time I reached letter “R”, I was
openly crying.

The memories we make with our children
are not forgotten. They last forever, as
my daughter taught me that morning. I read her
card a second time and wanted to hold –
HUG – her, but she was half way across the
country, beyond the reach of my arms, but
not my heart, and definitely not her memories.

FATHER

F – Faithful always to us when we were kids. You
always made sure we had enough. You
fought for work when you had none, and when you
were working, it was never more important than your family life.

A – All the stories you’ve written about us and
your experience as a father. I can’t tell
you how lucky I feel to have a dad who has
archived all the best parts of my childhood.

T – Telling me not to whoopser (When they were
little, I referred to passing gas as a
whoopser) in class. I remember you once took me
on your knee in our original dining
room one afternoon and explained to me that when
I start school, I shouldn’t whoopser in
class, because it’s not polite.

I can’t tell you this is my most
pleasurable memory – but very memorable none-
the-less.

H – Hand holding – For all the times I remember
you holding my hand on the way to the
bus stop in the morning, and during our walks by
the water in the evening to pick wild
strawberries, and at night to catch fireflies.

E – Exciting childhood memories. I remember
fondly our trips on summer days to the
beach or the lake for swims. Memories of yearly
camping trips and visits to the “Wild
Life Park”.

R – Rain dance – During a dry spell, I remember
you BBQ’ing. To entertain your
hungry kids, you told us how native Americans
danced to bring the rain. So out to the
yard you flew, jumping in circles, hopping from
one foot to the other, hooting and
hollering, you danced.

The very next day – it rained.

These memories are “Father” to me.
Thank you, Daddypoo!
I LOVE YOU
Vanessa

I closed the card and let Ginny hold me as the
tears flowed. Vanessa was beyond the
reach of my arms but not my heart, and definitely
not her memories.

Michael T. Smith