Daddy

"Daddy just didn't know how to show love.
"It was Mom who held the family together. He just went to work every day and came home and she'd have a list of sins we'd committed and he'd give us what-for about them.
"Once when I stole a candy bar, he made me take it back and tell the man I stole it and that I'd unpack boxes to pay for it. But it was Mom who understood I was just a kid.

"I broke my leg once on the swing set and it was Mom who held me in her arms all the way to the hospital. Dad pulled the car right up to the door of the emergency ward when they asked him to move it because that space was reserved for emergency vehicles he shouted. 'What do you think this i?
A tour bus?' Mom carried me in. Seems like all my life Dad was parking the car someplace and coming in wet or half frozen. But Mom never left me for a moment.

"He was always sort of out of place at birthday parties. He just busied himself blowing up balloons and setting up tables, and running errands, but it was Mom who carried in the cake with the candles on it for me to blow out.

"When I leaf through picture albums people always ask, 'what does your Dad look like?'
Who knows? He was always fiddling around with the camera taking everyone else's picture. We'd tell him, 'Enough already, but that never stopped him. I must have a zillion pictures of Mom and me smiling together.

"I remember when Mom told him to teach me how to ride a bicycle. I told him not to let go, but he said it was time. I fell and Mom ran to pick me up, but he waved her off. I was so mad I showed him. Got right back on that bike and rode it myself. He didn't even feel embarrassed. He just smiled.

"When I went to college, he was fiddling with the luggage and the boxes. Mom sat down and told me everything would be all right. She did all the writing. He just sent checks and a little note about how great his lawn looked now that I wasn't playing football on it.

"Whenever I called home, he acted like he wanted to talk, but he always said, "I'll get your mother.'

"When I got married, it was Mom who got all choked up and cried. He just blew his nose loudly and left the room.

"All my life he said, 'Where are you going? What time are coming home? Do you have gas in the car? Whose going to be there? No, you cannot go.'
Not Mom. She just loved me, but Daddy...he just didn't know how to show love...unless...My God. Is it possible, he showed it all along and I just didn't recognize it?"