By Cheryl Dodson

Early Summer-2019.

Somewhere along a Bibb County Backroad…

Daddy calls me.

“Sister, what are you doing Wednesday?

Jason and Shea went over to this restaurant in Montevallo. It is a little pricey. But nothing is too good for my baby girl…”

Just typing that makes me cry.

But at the time, I remember laughing about it to my husband Jeff.

Daddy and I had two different ideas on the definition of “pricey”.

He loved to plan ahead our little adventures.

They usually revolved around payday and a Wednesday or Saturday. (These are the two days that the Clanton Outdoor Flea Market is open.)

We would agree for me to be at his house at 7 a.m. (To Daddy this meant 7 a.m. and to me it meant 7:15.) There were always distractions that delayed my arrival.

I usually got a phone call about a mile before I got to his house. “Just checking on you…” I would let him know what I was passing or that I was about to turn in by Reach’s service station.

He would let me know to park in Shelenia’s yard. His neighbor was kind enough to allow us to park in her yard because Daddy did not want his freshly scattered birdseed disturbed.

He fed dogs and and cats and birds. And to my amusement, two possums he had nicknamed Jack and Jill.

I always loved to see him and listen to his observations.

Daddy was a simple man.

The same man everywhere you saw him. Every day of the week.

No high horse. No “putting on airs”.

This particular day something triggered his memory.

He began to talk about things he did as a child.

“We didn’t have cars or trucks to play with, we would push a brick around in the dirt track we made up under Mama Reach’s house.”

I am so very thankful I pulled out my little notebook I kept in my purse.

He asked me what I was doing. I told him I was taking notes.

There are 7 tiny pages with his own sweet language.

Memories of doodlebugs and penny balloons.

How everyone would get excited on days the “rolling store” came around.

Collecting glass bottles for spending money.

Making sure his chores were done so he could go camping and fishing…

I did not know at the time, but this would be our last carefree day together.

In July, he would get sick and by August he would be gone.

I say all of this just because life is so busy and hectic.

We all need more riding around and porch time.

A little less hurry.

If you have someone special in your life, I wish you would schedule a few hours with them-

And take lots of notes…

 

SOURCEThe Bibb Voice
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Cheryl Acker Dodson lives and writes in Woodstock, Alabama. She is a passionate advocate for mental health and speaks publicly to raise awareness for suicide prevention. She currently serves on the board of directors for Alabama Suicide Prevention and Resource Coalition (ASPARC) and Indian Rivers Behavioral Health. She loves to share local people and their heartwarming stories.

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