I have less than fifty years left of my life. Everyday I consider life as a miracle and a gift from God. Lately I have been thinking of reasons I have anxiety and restlessness. I capture short moments in my mind-memories of long ago. When I smell cut grass lately in the summer time my mind returns to “7028” in my yard all freshly cut, soft and the sky is blue not a cloud..I can feel the warmth of the hot sun as I lie there in my lime green polka-dotted sun dress and bloomers. In an Instance I hear my father yelling at me to get off the grass, you’re gonna kill it-go play somewhere else. I ran as fast as I can, far into the cornfields, deeps into the rows, just to cry, and sob so hard no one could hear. Oh how my feelings were hurt. What was I doing so badly. I’m sure I was all of five. My beautiful blonde hair, my darling smile, my happy heart!.I wanted to please him and make my father so proud of me. Be daddy’s little girl. Cleaning the house when I was ten began to be a challenge. How hard and tirelessly hours could I do, for him to say just once, “you did a great job!” No, it would be mt face in a bucket of dirty Spic and Span water, telling me how stupid I am and didn’t I know what clean looks like, “Get out of here, you make me sick, do you see how stupid you are?” I would run outside to the side of my house and sit leaned up against the wall, pulling a long green weed and putting into my mouth and sitting there crying where no one could see me, telling myself how much I hated him! Why was I so bad. I knew one day I would make him proud. As he got older and very ill I returned to live with my parents with my husband and two young children.. I felt so horribly guilty of my hateful feelings I had for him all of my childhood, I knew I could make him feel better and well. I nursed him with bandages meds,baths, meals and late nights of calming his fears. I WOULD BE AT HIS RESCUE IN EVERY EMERGENCY. I would sleep on the floor next to his bed so he knew I would always be there. He had his toes removed -I would clean the terrible odor of gangrenous tissue to keep it from spreading. He could never die!!! He was so tough, so intelligent, he taught me so much about growing up and to just keep on going! He gave me so much strength and showed me how not to sweat the small stuff…he could never die I wanted to just have him teach me and my children more. One night, I awoke to find him sitting outside on the patio..He was sitting in a chair all slumped over asleep. I sat down out there and just stared at him in the moonlight. I said out loud “I love you papa, thank you for always taking care of me! Thank you for making me tough. I will take care of you for as long as you want me to, you have always done that for me.” Then he said to me “don’t just sit there and God Damn look at me are you stupid..go inside I’M SLEEPING!” I ran downstairs in the den and cried myself to sleep. Years had passed my mother died, I hadn’t seen my father since he told me to get the f@!k out of his life at my mothers funeral. My brother invited us out to see my father at his home. My boys ran to him Papa papa! I was so taken back they remembered him, I went up to him,,he was sitting under the shade by my brothers pool. I said to him Hi dad, it so great to see you, he turned and hugged my youngest son and asked my sister-in law for another glass of iced tea. I held back the tears . My lips trembled so. I walked around, I wanted my boys to get as much time as they could. I know it would be the last time we would ever see him! I grasped on to those memories for them. He never acknowledged me then, and when he passed, he never acknowledged me in his will, never a letter or anything. An I love you or I’m proud of you would have been great! Now that I have Less than fifty years to live now, and seeing how hard it is when life throws you around. I realize, my dad did the best he could for what he knew, every thing he knew he learned himself. No one told him they were proud when he was young and surely didn’t have a whole lot of love,,,,Just strength, and he left me that. Now when I get through tough times or figure things out on my own, I thank my dad…and I have to believe in my heart, maybe he never loved me but deep deep down I gotta believe he is proud!