Here is the prompt we were given from The Red Dress Club RemembRed memoir.
This week we would like you to write about how the show of affection has played a part in your memory. Choose a time when either the abundance or lack of affection (either by you or someone else) stands out, and show us. Bring us to that time. Help us feel what you felt.
He was tall, dark and handsome and I thought he hung the moon. It would have surprised me to find out he actually didn't because there wasn't anything my father couldn't do.
My mother, brother and I didn't see him much because he worked two jobs most the time but when he was there we made the most of it. Our family ate dinner together, watched Little House On The Prairie, Carol Burnett and Andy Griffith every week, we hugged, and said "I love you".
My mother tucked me and my little brother in every night. We said our prayers, kissed her and she told us how much she loved us. Daddy came in later too and there would be no "sweet dreams" for this little girl unless her daddy said so right before the lights went out.
4:00 am came early and Daddy had to get his day started in order to work both jobs. He was as quiet as a mouse as he crept around the house getting ready. But before he left he opened my door and slipped in. He kissed my forehead and said, "I love you sweetheart, see you tonight."
"Bye Daddy. Love you too."
I closed my eyes and drifted back to sleep as my father went off to work at the car manufacturer for hours and then to pump gas at the filling station. He worked this second job one year so I could attend kindergarten. It wasn't free back in 1969.
Every morning of my childhood life I got that kiss and those words. After I grew up and moved out on my own I still heard those words every time I spoke to my Daddy. I don't hear them anymore because he slipped away to heaven in 1999 but I will forever hold them in my heart.
Growing up with love and affection displayed openly helped me be able to do the same. My husband and children never, if at all possible, go to bed without hearing how much I love them. Before we leave the house everyone gives the "I love yous" all around.
It may seem flippant and careless to some to use the words so easily but my Daddy said, " What if I left and never saw you again? I want you to know I love you." I feel the same. Say now what might not get said later.