Thursday, March 4, 2010

~A LITTLE RED NURSE'S KIT and a Handful of Nuns~


An Open Letter To My Father

Dear Daddy...

I have so much to say...but, where does the heart of this 'middle girl' of yours begin? I have a lifetime of memories of you and yet today, your 80th birthday, they seem totally unwilling to emerge from the safety of their hiding place. To make sure I never lose them I've tucked them away, far from the savagery of the beast who has taken up residency in your mind. That monster has taken enough from me....taken enough from all of us.

You were 28 years old when I was born and from as far back as my mind can travel you were there for me. During the wee hours this morning I tried my best to recall my earliest memory of you, and even though I was a bit afraid I'd get it wrong, I figured in the end it wouldn't matter. You've been there for me since the beginning of my life. That is the one constant that has never changed.

I was only four years old when I first heard the sound of your familiar footsteps walking down the long corridor of L.A.'s Queen of the Valley Hospital. You were coming to visit your very, very sick daughter. By your account, I was trying desperately to fight off an issue of blood that had invaded my fragile body. My face, as you told it, was whiter than the cotton sheeting stretched across the mattress of my child-sized crib. Every evening when you clocked out from work you'd come spend time with me. How I longed to see your smile and hear the comfort that came from your deep, soothing voice. It's sweetness lulled me to sleep on many of those fright-filled nights. You promised me you would come and you did.

You told me stories and stayed close by my side when the nurses strolled in wearing those funny shaped hats while pushing silvery carts piled high with cotton, needles and shiny glass vials. I counted on your gentle presence to remind me I was never alone and to not be afraid. You'd fluff my pillow and bathe my brow with soft, cool cloths. You covered me with warm blankets and combed my mousy brown hair. You'd pat my tiny hand and say what you'd always say~ "Daddy is here Becky Sue! Daddy is here!"

You were very good at bribing me and promised to bring me my own nurse's bag if I tried my best to get well. One Sunday morning (I know it was a Sunday because you were in a suit and tie) you brought to me a little red medical bag, complete with plastic syringe and stethoscope (and tiny candy pills that I wasn't allowed to eat). It was your gift to me, a present to encourage me to grow stronger. I practiced my 'nursing skills' on you and gave you lots and lots of pretend shots...

I think it might have been around that time you started referring to me as "Your (My) Becky", but I can't be for certain. But, I like to think so.

I remember the day when you and Mom got the news I was well enough to go home. The Catholic Nuns (always prayerful, reverent and kind) danced around the sides of my bed, arms outstretched to the heavens, singing "It's a Miracle! It's a Miracle!" And it was. God had found favor and showed His mercy and healed me.

No doubt because of your earnest, consistent prayers.

Today it will be me that will walk down the long corridor of the nursing center, the place you now call home. I promised you I would come and I've kept my word. I will fluff your pillow and bathe your aging brow with a soft, cool cloth. I will cover you with blankets and comb your ever thinning hair. I will bring my guitar and sing to you sweet little songs from my childhood... I will pat your hand and say "Becky Sue is here, Daddy! Becky Sue is here!"

What I wouldn't give for a little red nurse's kit and a couple of those faithful Catholic Nuns! Maybe combined with the earnest, consistent prayers you taught me to pray, God might again find favor, show His mercy...and heal you.

For today, this will be all I ask of the Most High.

Happy Birthday, beloved Father of mine. You are my hero.

Your Adoring Daughter, Becky Sue


Thmini2 said...

Oh Becky how beautiful is that letter. I was almost in tears reading it. You and your father must be so close. Even with the medical problems. I just have to say again that is one beautiful letter. Hugs, Teresa

RosesMarijke said...

What a wonderful kind and loving....God bless him...and you Beckey!!

xxxx...i'm crying now.....

Anonymous said...

What a lovely post Rebecca for your father.My father as well celebrated his 80th Birthday on February 26.Isnt it amazing how far back we can still rememeber thoses words of love and precious they are.

Anonymous said...

Rebecca.... I have walked this walk only I did it several years ago. My Dad had alsheimers & I walked those Nursing Home halls everyday. My Daddy was in his own world & many times he thought he was a child home with his Mother.
My step-mother & I fed him & cared for him everyday.
Finally, on a very cold early morning on Feb 5th..2004 I got a call from my step-mother that he had passed & although I so desperately miss him I would never wish him back to that life. He is with his Mother now who he hadn't seen since he was 12.
My heart & prayers are with you Rebecca as I have walked the walk & I know what you are going through.....
Love You Sweetheart!

Pat Winter Gatherings said...

Happy Birthday to your dear father. I loved this post even though I can hardly see right now from the tears welling in my eyes. I iss my dad terribly. Thanks for sharing.
Gentle hugs,

Julie Marie said...

Hello Rebecca... wishing you a beautiful day spent with a most beautiful daddy... xoxo Julie Marie

Dolores said...

Oh sweet Rebecca, this is the sweetest, most heartwarming letter to your beloved daddy. I'm crying tears of joy that you have such a wonderful daddy, and tears of sadness that you're having to watch this wonderful man be gripped by this awful mind stealing disease.

Thanks be to God that your were healed when you were so ill. Your love,faith and inspiration adds so much to everyone who know you.

Thank you for sharing this beautiful letter!!
My love and prayers to you and your daddy....

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful, touching tribute to your dear father. I know your visit will cheer him and somehow he will know you are there.
You always write such wonderful memories of him, I am sure he cherishs you very much, just like you do him.
Happy Birthday, Rebecca's Daddy!!
Big hugs and love, Francy

Rita said...

Oh Rebecca, what a sweet tribute to your father. You will always have those sweet memories in your heart. Happy Birthday to him this day!

Anonymous said...

Awww, what a lovely birthday post to your Dad! He is such a sweet Father...and you must be such a sweet daughter!

I named my daughter Rebecca...she quickly became Becky!...many years ago..

thanks for sharing this lovely story with us!

Tristan Robin said...

What a beautiful, beautiful, heartfelt and loving tribute.

Happy birthday to your father - and may God listen to your prayers with an open heart.

Debbie-Dabble Blog and A Debbie-Dabble Christmas said...

Dear Rebecca,
What a beautiful story of the love between a father and daughter. I am sitting here crying as I write because My Dad was a man very similar to yours.I lost my Dad 23 years ago to a massive heart attack and I see you are losing your to a relentless disease. My heart breaks for you as I am a nurse and have seen too many times the ravages of this disease. Thanks so much for sharing this lovely story and my prayers will be with you and your Dad.

Terri Gordon said...

What a beautiful post, Happy Birthday to your wonderful Father. Thanks for sharing.

A Southern Rose said...

Rebecca, this letter to your daddy made me really open my eyes to my relationship that I share with my daddy. We use to be so close and over the last couple of years we have seemed to drift apart. I plan to change that very soon. Like today! I'm gonna call him from work and ask him on a date! He turns 64 years old this year and the years are flying by so fast. Thank you for this post today. Happy birthday to your sweet daddy.

Lee Laurie

June said...

Oh Rebecca my heart is overflowing this morning reading this beautiful post. A tribute to your father on his 80th Birthday. With tears in my eyes I say thank you for your lovely heart. The angels are recording your deeds, and you are blessed.

Ceekay-THINKIN of HOME said...

Happy Birthday to your sweet daddy and enjoy your time with him. Life is wonderful, and difficult at times.

Ana said...

Oh dear and sweet Rebecca....Tears fill my eyes as I write to you...What a beautiful letter to your father. It has touched my heart and has moved me beyond words. Sending you much love and sending your Daddy a very special birthday prayer. Your Daddy is blessed to have such a wonderful daughter.

Blessings and Hugs,

Tanza said...

Sweetest ~r~,
sniff..sniff.. Very beautiful heartfelt words from your heart .. to your your beautiful Father from his beautiful daughter .. Wishing him a wonderful 80th birthday today, and may you make special,STILL wonderful memories for you both ..hoping your day to be a special one ~
Big hugs

Unknown said...

Oh wow!!! What a precious tribute to your sweet daddy. I am boohooing reading this. Thank you for sharing your deepest thougths.

Anonymous said...

Take your letter with you and read it to him.
He will hear it and know all you've said.

Kathy said...

Rebecca, I am typing this through tears in my eyes with memories of my loving Dad who I lost 15 years ago. That's a long time and yet all the memories of him having alzheimers are so very fresh How well I know the depth of your feelings and your hope. Stay faithful. God does have his way of giving us little miracles that mean so much. When I was young my Dad always sang Have Faith Hope and Charity to us. A week before my Dad passed away (he hadn't known me for months) I was singing that song to him, and out of nowhere he started singing with me and smiling. I am sure you can imagine how blessed I was. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers

Debra@CommonGround said...

Rebecca, writing thru tear-y eyes. What a wonderful Birthday letter to your sweet Daddy. I miss mine so much. So glad that you were touched by God's healing hands those many years ago. Happy Birthday to your Daddy! Have a wonderful day!

Deanna said...

Oh Rebecca,
You have such a sweet Daddy. Wishing you a Happy Day and your Daddy a sweet Birthday.
Beautifully written letter.
God comfort you,

Unknown said...

What a loving and lovely tribute to your daddy. It's beautiful!

God bless you!


The Vintage Vagablonde said...

Beautiful,beautiful post....I lost my Father about 4 years ago...

My children just lost their Dad right before Christmas.
He would have celebrated his 41st B`day on Saturday.

Happy B~day to your Father :)

Oklahoma Granny said...

I want to thank you for visiting my blog. I'm so glad you did and that our paths have crossed.

Your blog is simply lovely and I will enjoy following it.

Happy Birthday to your father. God truly blessed you with him. God also blessed him with a wonderful daughter.

Ginger said...

Rebecca, What a wonderful birthday tribute to your daddy. I am so sorry you have to go through this with his disease but I am sure you comfort him and he knows how much you love him!! Fathers are special to little girls, I know mine is!! Happy birthday to your sweet daddy and God bless you both.

Your friend

VM Creation Atelier said...

Dear Rebecca!-)*

What a gorgeous letter to you Father!

You tuched me,my dear friend,such a beautiful relationship daughter and father...
you amazed me with you warm,tender and SO intence words!

Many love and blessings,


Anonymous said...

Hi Reb,
What a nice tribute to your Dad!I had NO IDEA that I shared the same birthday as him! (different year,of course!)WOW!I hope and pray that you reflect on who is truly is rather than what thatdisease has robbed him of.GOD does have a plan for him,my friend!Have a wonderful day,as you remember fond memories of your sweet Daddy!
Laurie Baudette

Sandy~Romantique Inspirations~ said...

What a lovely tribute to your father, and here's wishing him all the best.

Blessings & Hugs*

Victorian1885 said...

Oh Rebecca..I am struggling with my visits to my mother and know I should go every week but feel the pain you do seeing her and having her not know me for years now and sometimes find it too hard to is a tough journey for all familys that are afflicted with Alzheimers Disease but we can only cherish the good times and be there for each other. Happy birthday to your Daddy! Hugs..


The Feathered Nest said...

Oh sweet Rebecca, what a precious, precious post dear friend ~ such wonderful memories and testament to you and your father's love for one another...seems we switch roles as life goes on ~ such a lesson too, enjoy each and every moment as they are but a vapor. Thank you for a wonderful post sweet friend, hugs and love, Dawn

Lisa & Gerald said...

What a beautiful touching letter to your father..So sweet..Thanks for sharing...Happy Birthday to him...

Wsprsweetly Of Cottages said...

How fortunate you are to have a relationship like that with your father. He is the one that needs you now..and you are there. That is how it is supposed to be. That is exactly as it should be. You are wonderful!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing your memories. I remember those days so well. You were such a tiny little thing. Daddy had/has a very tender heart and I miss him terribly.

I see him EVERY DAY, and wish it were possible to bring him home. Yes-- I too pray for a miracle of God's Healing Hand to restore him to good health. However, I see the miracle of his life before me each and every day.

I shed a lot of tears as I read your letter to your dad. So loving and caring. Makes me miss your grandfather... Time is so short, we best make the most of it while we can.

Love you-- Mom

Unknown said...

Ohhh, Rebecca ~ I sit here in tears as I recall what we went thru with Ma Ford ... my heart aches for you & your Father ... & your Mother. I can say little ...

Happy Birthday to your wonderful Father ... how blessed you are to have one another to take care of each other, when needed most.

Blessings & prayers.

Love to all ~ Marydon

Simply Debbie said...


{Bellamere Cottage} said...

Sweet Rebecca....

How fortunate you are to have such a wonderful are so blessed and you've written such a beautiful tribute to him. I'm so sorry he's suffering from this awful mind stealing disease.....and I know how hard it is on you too....I'm sending huge hugs to you dear one......

Bless you... :-)


The Quintessential Magpie said...

Sweet dear Becky Sue... there are not words to tell you how beautiful this tribute to your father is! If you could only see my tear-streaked face, you'd know. How blessed you have been to have each other.

I'm really at a loss for words other than to say, Happy Birthday to your father and all good wishes to both you and him. While his mind might not be there, kindness is the universal language, and he knows and feels your deep and abiding love for him.


Sheila :-)

The Strawberry Mallard said...

What a beautiful post Rebecca ~ I have walked down the path you are now on.......and I am so thankful that I had the opportunity to do so.
Hugs, Nancy

Terra said...

This story breaks my heart, and yet the love between you and your daddy puts my heart back together again.
Thanks for the powerful post.

Old Time Cindy said...

What beautiful and loving words in you father's honor. So touching. I have to go get a hankie now...
Cindy at Lakewood

Rose ~Victorian Rose ~ said...

Would give my eye teeth to be able to remember as much like YOU do about your loving dad..and the love you have for you siblings.
I just don't retain that kind of thing very well, much less be able to record it....YOU ARE BLESSED.
So are they.


Ali Dantre said...

So Beautifully written. I longed to have a Father, just Like yours.

God bless you all.



Kateyed said...

Dear Rebecca,
What an incredible tribute to your father. I am so glad you can be there for him...just like he was there for you!

May you both experience the grace of God!

Suz (coming from Lynn's blog)

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