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My Father was Ten Feet Tall
My father is in the upper room. With his passing, in the dog days of the summer, came great sadness and longing. As I flip through the pages of my memory, I don't recall my father being a tall, striking figure. But to a child, he seemed to stand ten feet tall. He commanded all of his children using a sense of respect and pride.
With age, my father's eyesight became impaired and his gait was not so steady. However, my father never lost his inner vision or the ability to stand by his word. And on a good day, when I felt the warmth of his embrace, in a fleeting glance he appeared to be the spry youngster of his mid-twenties that ushered mama and me to church every Sunday.
As I grew older, I noticed that my father and I basically had the same outlook on life. I'd bounce ideas off him and he'd basically come to the same conclusion about life as I. I loved my father unconditionally, not because he listened to me for hours at a time, but because he believed in me.
When I informed my father of my decision to attend college, he was excited. And when I told him that I intended to pursue a degree in journalism he said, "Doreen, be the best that you can be." My father wanted desperately to attend my graduation from college. But he will never have the opportunity to do that. My father was slain on the Chicago lakefront while taking a walk.
My fondest memories of my father were of lazy Sunday afternoons. He loved to listen to music and drink tea. My father also loved to take everyone to the rodeo, beach and park. My father never favored one child over another among my siblings. He taught us to share and to love one another.
When I travel back to Chicago and throughout the Midwest, it truly touches my heart to see fathers playing on the ballfields with their children.
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