February 4, 2013

My Father’s Eyes

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , at 8:00 pm by Debbie

I took a few minutes to really look at the photo. To examine its details. And then I saw it. There, twinkling in front of me, where it had been all my life. I saw my own reflection in my father’s eyes. Yes, I really am Daddy’s little girl. Always was. Always will be.

February 5, 2013 marks the one-year anniversary of living without my Dad. So much of 2012 is still a blur to me. I suppose it always will be. Dave had just returned home from his first hospital stay. We had learned of the cancer, but not his diagnosis. Meanwhile, my Dad went into the hospital and never came home. It went something like this: Dave in hospital, Dad in hospital, Dave has cancer, Dave comes home, Dad dies, Dad’s funeral, Dave has Stage IV Adenocarcinoma, Debbie goes into caregiver mode. All of that in a 3-week period. The list of surgeries, illnesses and funerals for our family continued for the entire rest of the year.

I didn’t have time to mourn the loss of my father. I didn’t allow myself to think about him really much at all. Until recently. And now thoughts of Hollis David Kennedy bring a smile to my face. My heart is warmed by the memories. My grief is in a comfortable place. And I have my father’s eyes.

When I was a little girl, the most severe punishment you could inflict upon me was hearing my father say he was disappointed in me. All he had to do was raise his voice and tears would fly – not that I was ever in trouble, or anything. No, really. I was the baby with two older brothers, need I say more?

One of my most fond memories is Evil Eye. Dad would pretend to be really mean, furrowing his brow on one side, raising his brow on the other, pure evil (not) streaming from his eyes. I usually feigned fear. Then I would spend hour upon hour practicing the same facial expression in the mirror. Laugh if you must, but it takes many hours of practice to train one eyebrow to raise while the other is scrunched. Hard work. Really. Then when I thought I had it figured out, I’d run to my Dad and say, “Watch this, I can do the Evil Eye, too.”

But it never worked quite like Dad’s. I think I was a legal adult when I finally trained my eyebrow muscles to perform the Evil Eye. According to my children, my Evil Eye is still not as menacing as Dad’s. As a matter of fact, I recall some laughter at my attempts.

It’s just as well. There wasn’t an evil bone in my father, either. But they’re wrong. I can do the Evil Eye. I do have my father’s eyes, after all.

I lit a candle for you today, Dad.
It glows from deep within my heart.
And there it will stay,
Until the day we see each other again.

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1 Comment »

  1. Trish Fidler Turley said,

    Debbie, you’re so inspiring and wonderful. I think of you and the kids every day. You are truly such a special woman. Thank you for sharing with all of us. Your Dad and Dave are smiling down on you each and every day. Love you.

    Trish Fidler Turley


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