Disclaimer: The characters are definitely NOT mine…I’m not receiving ANY money for writing this story. I’m writing this for the pure enjoyment I receive.
Our Special Time
Touch…the touch of human to human. We use it when we are born to feel a world that is suddenly strange, harsh and very foreign to us. A baby’s world is usually a world of soft blankets and the soft skin of a mother’s touch to ease the transition from womb to world. As we grow, we learn touch’s value in other ways. The way the sun caresses our face with it’s warmth, the water as it soothes and cools…the touch of other humans again…some with harshness, but others with warmth and caring which we come to recognize as love.
Loving touches and caresses are a NEED for humans…it’s a scientific fact; however, science didn’t enter the minds of either of the two that were walking along Cape Fear’s shoreline on the Atlantic Ocean at the beginnings of sunrise this day…it was a touch of something very special.
One was tall, solidly built with hair that was starting to sparkle as it blew with the wind coming off the ocean. His long strides making the other figure walk slightly faster, but the other shorter figure knew that he would not go along without her…this was their special time…together…just for the two of them.
Jenny used to look with wide-eyed wonder at this special man whom she loved thinking that the sun really did rise and set at his words. Of course she was older now…almost 8 years old and she could see her father more for who he was. This didn’t make him any less special in her eyes though. As a matter of fact, it made him more special.
She looked at him now in this time before dawn made its entrance upon the new day. She noticed his large callused hand which gripped hers…strong yet oh so gentle to her delicate skin. Her father’s strong, gentle hands made with long hours of work pulling hoses as was his job early in his work with the Fire Service of LA County…yet hands that knew how to bring a heart back to a steady beat again, that lifted a chin and carefully squeezed a nose closed to breathe life giving air into otherwise empty lungs. His blond hair, touched slightly with gray at the temples, that made a halo type glow around his face as the sun rose to just above the water line in its journey upwards towards the sky. His face that looked with wide-eyed wonder at all the beauty that was around him…and therefore taught her to see the world that way.
She loved this time with her Daddy…just him and her…. They all would walk at home along the shore on the days when Daddy had his 24 hours off watching the sun set behind the Pacific Ocean…Daddy, Momma, Chris and herself… but THIS TIME it wasn’t the Pacific Ocean next to them…it was the beautiful water of the Atlantic and the sun didn’t set here behind the ocean…it was magnificent in its greeting of the new day.
The DeSotos had saved all year to come to this little stretch of beach on the Cape Fear peninsula. They had come at the invitation of one of Roy’s old army buddies who had a cottage on the shores of Kure Beach, N.C. Clarence and Emma had been married a little longer than Roy and Joanne and had 2 twin boys a year older than Chris and a girl that was 2 months younger than Jenny. They had a great week with them playing in the soft sand, catching little fish with the net, seeing how stupid those blue tip crabs were making them easy to catch…and GREAT to eat…once Uncle Clarence had showed them how to get to the delicious meat in the claws!
Those were all wonderful things that Jenny would always remember about their trip to the East Coast, but she would remember best these early morning walks with her Daddy. Momma never got up and Chris always wanted to sleep, but she was always ready to walk with Daddy along the beach. Jenny knew that her father would be waiting at the porch for her and so she would sleep in her white stretch shorts and her oversized tee shirt so when she would hear him stir she could jump right out of bed and tip-toe through the hall to have him take her hand as they went outside over the walkway across the sea oats covered dunes to the beach.
She had missed the first morning that he had gotten up, but something had awoken her and she went out to investigate. She had seen it was still dark, but there was something that made the clouds out to sea look a pinkish-rose color. It was so beautiful…she didn’t remember anything looking as pretty. She looked at the ocean waves gently caressing the shoreline…and then she saw him. Her father was walking along the breaking surf occasionally squatting down to pick up something in the sand, then rising again to continue his journey…to where Jenny didn’t know. She watched him as he continued. Then he turned as the clouds started to turn a fiery orange shade. He then paused and sat on the sand. Jenny almost left to go put on her clothes to join him. She would be forever grateful that she stayed just those few minutes more for what she saw on that morning would forever shape the way she saw her father from that time on.
The sun at that moment gave way to bursting blinding rays that fanned across the ocean into her father’s face. Jenny saw him close his eyes and bask in the new day’s dawn. She saw his lips move…she never asked him what he said…she didn’t need to. Her father was never a man for established religion, but she knew of his closeness to the One who provided all. Uncle Johnny called Him the Great Spirit…Uncle Marco called Him God…some didn’t call Him anything. That didn’t make Him any less real…any less a Wonder.
Daddy then got up to come to the house. Jenny was waiting on the porch when he arrived.
“What are you doing up, Jennybean?” Roy said quietly. “Did Daddy wake you up?”
“Well, I heard something and got up to see”, I said.
“I’m so sorry Sweetheart. Why don’t you go on back to bed, it’s still very early.” Roy said taking my hand.
“Daddy, can we go down to the beach…just the two of us without Chris and Momma…” I said quietly.
Daddy gave me a quizzical look and then like a light bulb going off in his head he smiled and said, “Sure, Jennybean…it will be OUR special time together just the two of us.”
That was our first time greeting the new day together. We did that every morning that week rising before the dawn to walk along the beach. Daddy would point out the shrimp boats trawling for their day’s catch, squat down to look at the wonderful assortment of seashells cast up onto the beach by the evening’s high tide. We’d see the ghost crabs that were scurrying to their holes after their evening hunts, and occasionally the starfish, hermit crabs or small schools of fish that were waiting for the next high tide to take them out to sea from tidal pools left in its wake. There was always just enough light to see nature’s wonders, but Daddy would always notice the sky and get me snuggled into his strong arms on his lap to watch the sun greet the new day and all the creatures both man and beast who were there to see it.
I closed my eyes just as I knew Daddy did and thanked God for the new day and for this wonderful man who I was fortunate enough to know as my father.
Roy gave Jenny a squeeze and a kiss on the cheek before saying, “Guess we’d better be heading back now Jennybean.”
“No, Daddy. Let’s stay a little while longer, please. It’s our last day here…our last special time for just us.” I said.
“Oh, Sweetheart, these special times don’t have to end just because we’re going home today. I don’t think I want to give up OUR special time…do you?” Roy said holding on tighter.
“Me either, Daddy”, I said with a smile.
“Well, then it’s a date between you and me until you say different…OK?”
“OK”, I said with a smile on my face.
We walked for another half-hour before going back to show Momma the pretty shells we had collected, and I went to give Chris his “good morning” pounce. I guess I have some of the prankster of my Uncle Chet in me, but a little later as we were saying our good-byes to our hosts I walked towards the room that Momma and Daddy shared while we were visiting.
“You’re a wonderful man, Roy DeSoto,” said Momma. “I’m so blessed to have you in my life…I love you.”
“I love you too, Joanne.” I heard Daddy say.
He may be a wonderful man to you Momma, but he’s MY wonderful Daddy!
Feedback is welcomed and encouraged: Please…pretty please!
Kure Beach, NC on the Cape Fear peninsula is a wonderful place where my family and I have spent many wonderful summer week vacations while our children were little. In this story, my father was “Roy” and I was “Jenny”…but as I became a mother, I am “Roy” to my son David and daughter Ann’s “Jenny”. Now that they are all grown up, many things have changed as neither of them live in the same city as their father and I, but THIS…this SPECIAL TIME between just us has NOT changed. We STILL schedule vacations to this little stretch of beach each year (no small task let me tell you! GRIN!!!), and still share this special time together. It won’t change…”it’s a date until they say different…”.
Thanks for reading my story…hope you enjoyed it. I hope that it causes you to remember YOUR special times…together.
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