Recently, I stood grinding feed on a frosty 30ËšF morning and suddenly became conscious of a drip dangling from the end of my nose. It wasn’t the first time it has happened, and, it won’t be the last, but, I immediately thought of my dad.
Dad died seven years ago this month from leukemia, and, it will come as no surprise that I miss him. The missing isn’t so much a conscious thought, but, more often than not, it is small things that completely catch me off guard.
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A piece of soapstone like the one he always carried in his pocket to mark metal when using a cutting torch will do it. And, apparently, so will nose drips, because I was instantly transported back to winters when we were cutting wood or feeding cattle, and wondering, as kids will, how he could not realize it was there.
I’ve since learned firsthand that it is a drip of hard work. It’s the determination to get a job done--whether it is working while freezing or from the sweat generated during a hot day. Sometimes, for me, it might be a tear of frustration or joy that hangs oblivious to everything around it.
I’m still shocked at how these small things can take my breath away and remind me of him.
There are other clues he’s still here--like when my middle child is deep in thought and chews on her tongue--just the way he did. Or, when my oldest is scouting a crop field and sends me a picture of something interesting wishing she could share it with Granddad, too. Or, the look of determination my youngest gets on his face when he’s solving a problem, and, the fact that as he walks away from me, I notice he has the exact same build as Dad.
So, pardon me if I take a minute after I wipe away that drip to smile and remember my dad for just a little while.
Jennifer (Jent) Campbell writes a blog called Farm Wife Feeds (farmwifefeeds.com). Follow her on Twitter (@plowwife) and on her podcast @girlstalkag.
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