Monday, August 30, 2010


Just yesterday, it seems, a little tow-headed girl was crawling up our stairs, naked as the day she was born, without a care in the world. I sometimes still hear her saying, “,” and “one mo time,” and “jus’a little bit mo Granny!” The next day she was saying, “Let’s go on a ‘venture Papaw,” and we would rumble off down some dirt road toward a picnic on a rock.

Then there were a few days where she played a few games of basketball, some softball, and was even was a cheerleader for a day or two.

Suddenly, she was going to a couple of proms and then, in a very hot and sticky gym, she graduated high school. She sat there so beautiful, so innocent to what was to come, and all I saw as a that little tow-head girl grinning like a ‘possom back at me. I was so proud.

A moment or two after the ceremony, she was showing her Granny the things she bought to furnish her room at college!

I found myself, setting across from her, the last night in town, gingerly taking hot bites of pizza, and wondering where the last eighteen years had gone. She laughed nervously, thinking about leaving the next day, but somehow made us all feel better about the whole situation.

What a wonderful gift God has given to us. Never liked partying, smoking, drinking...just being with a good friend laughing and talking about boys, or with her Granny, quietly watching TV, while Granny rubbed her arms softly and tirelessly. Judy could sit for hours just rubbing Katie’s arms while they just enjoyed the time together. I pray she finds a very patient and loving guy to marry one day (in the very distant future), and that he too finds her as special as we have, and will spend quiet times just rubbing her arms while she talks, falls to sleep, and dreams.

So now she’s off trying out the “real world”, some 55.7 miles away. It’s only been four days, but man, the next 4 years are going to feel like an eternity!

Now I know a little about what it must have been like for my parents when I left for the Air Force, and then Vietnam. How did they ever stand it?

My mother’s faith and strength saw her through the ordeal twice, the second time when my brother left home. My brother was actually hospitalized at eight years old with a nervous stomach condition. He seemed to sense the danger I was in even at that age.

My mom told me just this week that she don’t think my dad had a healthy year from the day I left for ‘Nam. He seemed to always have something wrong with him over the next ten years until he died at age 57.

Anyway, back on subject, Katie left on Thursday and on Sunday her mom and dad, and Granny and Papaw just had to go see their baby! I know, we didn’t give her much time, but we really had a mission, and that was to take her a few things she needed.

Truth be told, Katie was already a little homesick and it was evident in how she clung to her mom the whole day. Granny also got in a little arm rubbing while we rode around checking out the Tech campus and the city of Cookeville.

We ate at Charley's and then found a little park, she had already discovered, and walked through the woods together and down by a lake, where geese were fighting for the dominant positions to eat the food be thrown at them.

Katie proudly showed us her room and everything that she had added, where she would sleep, study, and relax. The room was very nice, for a college dorm, and she, and her roommate, had done a great job in making it homey. The room is brightly lighted, air conditioned, and has a private bath with a separate “make up” area.

She doesn’t have to worry about food, she has a meal-card that lets her eat in the cafeteria, or in the pizza/grill that’s located right in the dorm building! There is a place to wash clothes right across the hall and meeting rooms for group study. The building is new, with modern warning security systems, all the proper telecommunications feeds, and elevators to boost her up and down as she wishes. What more could she ask for...well, she’s wanting to keep her doggie in the room!

We left Sunday afternoon, much more relaxed than before. I saw where she was living, and how wrapped in luxury and guarded she will be, so I’ll worry about her much less now. She’ll be fine, and I see she’s already made new Facebook friends!

I have to let her go and see if she will return to me one day. I just hope and pray it isn’t too far in the future, ‘cause I still need my Katie Bug.


Shrinky said...

Your Katie Bug is utterly beautiful, and very blessed to be surrounded by so much love. I understand totally how emotional this year must be for you - my eldest is due to mirror her footsteps in a couple of weeks, off to Uni for 4yrs, too. Except, he won't be within driving distance from me, he'll be hundreds of miles away, and separated by a sea between us, on the mainland UK. Scary! But exciting too, yes?

BRUNO said...

Aww, you're just like a too-late-picked watermelon: You've gotten OLD, and "pithy", an' your bottom is too-soft!

You can only dream to be like ME: Not quite as old, but instead, ROTTEN, RANCID, an' my bottom has already fallen-out, as the maggots have a field-day!

That's one of the "advantages" I can claim over you: I only have three immediate-family survivors left.

And ONE of them is my wife, who is also the only-one to give a damn about me anyways.

So, family-events for ME are quite uneventful, so to speak.

(DAMN, I envy YOU, and YOURS...!!!)

FHB said...

That was a beautiful post brother. The revelation from your mom is very touching. Dads from his time didn't know how to express it, but they felt it all. Your kids and grand kids are so lucky. They've got so much love surrounding them.

Debbie said...

Seems like just yesterday I was reading about her as a little toddler, my how time flies.

She's a beautiful girl, inside and out. We will pray that God will look out for her and keep her safe.

I know you will worry, but try not to worry too much. You have a great treasure there, just enjoy the time you do have with her.

Right Truth

(p.s. The Grouch gets taken to the boudoir just as often as he did 38 years ago, ha)

Mushy said...

He's a lucky man!

Marsha said...

How sweet, what a beautiful recollection. she is truly loved.