Backhand Stories: The Creative Writing Blog

Watching you grow, and going through the changes in your life.
That’s how I know; I always wanna be there.
Whenever you feel you need a friend to lean on, here I am
Whenever you call, you know I’ll be there

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Olivia Newton John ‘Let Me Be There’

I was in a deep comfortable sleep when I woke up to loud pounding coming from upstairs. My heart pounded in perfect symmetry with each step coming closer and closer to my room. The last few steps stomping down the stairs where like an eternity, time became still, my thoughts became numb, and everything was in slow motion. As my mother turned the door knob to my room, I slowly glanced at the clock in a dreamy like state. It was 3:34a.m., which could only mean one thing; the day had come that my father lost his 9 month battle with cancer. Although this was the last and worst memory of him, it is definitely not the only one.

The song above is one that my father and I used to sing together. We would go to my aunt’s house once a week. In her basement was a karaoke machine equipped with thousands of songs to sing to our heart’s content. However, I always chose the same one. I would grab two microphones, which prompted my father to get up and get ready to sing with his little girl. I handed him his microphone and he picked me up and sat me on the folding table so we could be eye to eye. I did the melody; he did the harmony. We would stay there, in that cold empty basement for hours, just taking turns singing song after song, but no song held a candle to the one that my daddy and me sang together.

My father was a stay at home dad. He did all the cooking and cleaning. I liked helping with cleaning; not so much the cooking. He was such a perfectionist so he would always end up re-doing everything that I did but I never got in trouble for it because I was doing my best. I remember him throwing all of the couch cushions on the freshly vacuumed floor. I walked into the living room and wondered what had happened. Were we getting new cushions? “You’re standing in hot lava!” he said.

“The cushions are the only thing you can stand on to save yourself, BUT you can’t stand on one for more then a few seconds or it will sink!”

I started running and jumping on all the cushions and my sister soon joined, I mean, after all they were our only saving grace from the lava!

“Daddy you are in the lava!” we would say.

“I am safe because I have my special lava proof socks on,” he replied.

This was an exciting game we played and a game is all I thought it was. Later I found out he did this as a way for us to help him fluff the cushions to the couch. Needless to say, it worked!

Another great memory I have of my father was in June of 2000; my high school graduation. He was so sick with his chemo treatments and radiation. He wasn’t sure if he would be able to make it or. The ceremony was over and I went up to the stands where all my friends and family where; and my father wasn’t. I was sad. Not because he wasn’t there, but because of how sick he was and how he was just falling apart. After a few minutes of mingling we started to walk up the stands to leave. Then I looked to my right, and there came my daddy being escorted by his mother, my grandmother. He did make it and although he didn’t look like himself, he looked better to me then ever. I ran up to him and threw my arms around his neck so happy to see him. He said he wouldn’t have missed it for the world.

My father passed away on February 8th, 2001. It doesn’t matter how much time passes by, the pain does ease, but I always miss him. It’s hard not to want to call him for advice on decorating my house, or to ask him a cooking question and my wedding day was even harder. The only thing that comforts me is the memories we did get to share together. Those will keep me going forever since he can no longer be here to watch me grow or see the changes in my life.

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