This past Thursday was a drenching rainy day. I awoke to thunderously pounding rain… relentlessly pounding rain.
I pulled back my bedroom curtain and saw what I heard.
I mumbled, “Oh, man,” (or maybe something else). We were having a new mattress delivered that morning between hours of 8:30 and 11:30… and oh, THE RAIN.
I began the task of stripping the sheets off the old mattress, moving a couple of pieces of furniture and getting to the under-the-bed stuff.
I hadn’t been under-the-bed except to poke around with a vacuum cleaner in… um, maybe since we moved into our house in 2005.
I found myself on my hands and knees, pulling out Audrey’s preserved wedding gown box, envelopes of photographs, a camera case and camera that I thought I had lost, a couple of puzzles that I had forgotten to give to my grandchildren… and one of those under-the-bed white storage containers.
I didn’t remember that storage container.
I opened its hinged top.
There were photographs, little notes and drawings by my kids… special stuff that I must have put in it to store safely. (I do that and then forget that I do it.)
Then something caught my eye. It was a zippered, plastic bag.
I unzipped it.
And there were my Dad’s words. My Dad’s handwriting. There was paper and an air-mail envelope that my Dad had touched with his loving hands and loving heart and loving mind and somehow found me 51 years later.
One was a love letter that my Dad had written to my Mom while out to sea… from Midway, May 3, 1960…
Yellowed, but only a bit tattered, my Dad tells of almost being home after months at sea, longing to hold my Mom in his arms. He asks her to “kiss daddy’s angels”…
And then… there was a little note my Dad and I had written back and forth… having fun, writing about spelling and 49 cent Flair pens and things that are so ordinary yet extraordinary miracles for me to see this in the words, handwriting, fun and love of my Dad from so, so long ago.
I don’t remember this day into night that we wrote back and forth.
But I could hear my Dad laughing as I read our words.
Not even the pounding, relentless rain outside my bedroom window could drown out his laughter and the most wonderful words of all… Good nite darling daughter – – – – xxxxxx
This is what we said to each other each night as he tucked me in.
I would say, Good night my darling Daddy and he would answer, Good night my darling daughter.
When my Dad died 36 years ago, much too young, how could I have known that I would hear these words again on a very, very ordinary rainy day as I waited for a mattress delivery…
And there was an ever bigger surprise for me.
You see, I close almost every note, text, message to people I care about with X’s and O’s. I just do.
Now I know why.
They are part of my Dad… and part of me.
Now I know.
The great thing about life are the miracles we find when we least expect them… sometimes from the heart of an Angel on a rainy, rainy day.