Walking our dog Buford this morning I saw a man with his dog almost a block down the sidewalk, headed in our direction. It wasn’t the white dog that caught my eye and then by breath. The way the sun illuminated the man’s body, the jacket he was wearing, and his slow gait immediately brought my dad to mind. I paused waiting for Buford to sniff the grass as I had a moment recalling my dad. A good moment.
Those are the moments I recall more than the bad. Dad died over fourteen years ago and thoughts of him will come to me at random times in random settings. It had been a long time since someone looked like him. The usual randomness strikes when the sun sets, in a reflection of a puddle or if someone bakes a pie. Our daughter baked a pie yesterday, maybe that’s why dad was visiting this morning.
I was filled with joy, peace and full of smiles when the man approached. Oh, I knew him, I realized as he got closer. We have passed each other a dozen times and let our dogs, Buford and Louie, greet one another as dogs often do as we share pleasantries.
As they sniffed one another I couldn’t keep quiet, “May I thank you for something?” I started our conversation.
He wasn’t sure where I was going with this, it was barely 8 am and we hadn’t had that many exchanges, but he answered hesitantly, “Yes, okay.”
“Up close I can see you don’t look at all like my father, but down there on the sidewalk, under the tree and in the bright sunlight you looked just like me dad. Thank you for reminding me of him even though it is obvious now, you look nothing alike.”
We laughed, but I could tell still not sure, he asked, “Is that a good thing?”
“Very much so”, I assured him. “He died a long time ago,” I could see his expression change.
“I hope he lived a long, full life.”
I left out all the details only sharing that he died at age 76. This made him bite his lip.
He didn’t need to know my dad was depressed all of my life and was mostly followed by sadness and sickness. He needed to know that he was reminding me of my dad. Period. Not sad dad, just dad. Dad who loved to be outside. Dad who loved the sun more than the rain. Dad who loved pleasant exchanges with strangers on the sidewalk.
During this time his dog Louie would not stop barking. This of course led to other conversation. Laughter. More pleasantries.
Similar to feeling the nudge to thank him I was now getting the poke in my arm to ask him for his name.
“Ok, we know our dogs’ names,” I said holding out my hand, “I am Jenny.”
“I am Mark,” he took my hand. His firm handshake affirming I was seen.
More dog barking, laughter, polite conversation, no rush to leave, but the natural ending to our conversation as we started to move away from one another.
“So nice to know your name now, Jenny. So many of us neighbors only know the names of our dogs.
“If you ever forget mine,” I told him, “Just ask.”
“And if you ever forget mine,” he said, “Just call me dad.”
I placed my hand over my heart. Words couldn’t explain what stirred within.
As we walked in opposite directions. I felt dad again. And now as I write this I feel his love, his joy, his peace. The tears running down my face, are good tears. The kind that get stirred up when I see the sun set, the reflection in a puddle, someone bakes a pie. or now, when someone out of nowhere reminds me of dad.
Hi, I’m Jenny Gwinn McGlothern, Certified Transformational Master Life Coach, Retreat Leader, Writer, Teacher and Seeker. As founder of my retreat business, Mama Needs A Refill, LLC, one way I know I fill my cup is by showing up to a blank page to write. Thank you for stopping by and reading my Random Monday Thoughts, because I will be honest that fills my cup too, knowing others are reading my filled page. Life is too short to blog about anything else unless it touches my heart. Please know I appreciate you joining me on this journey whether you visit every week since I began in 2009 or this is your first blog stop.
Curious about becoming a life coach or upleveling your life? I am a co-facilitator at Seattle Life Coach Training. The program is transformative, the experience more life giving than words can describe, www.slctseattle.com.
Interested in life or spiritual coaching or want to learn more about my retreats in Seattle, please find me on FaceBook, www.FaceBook.com/MamaNeedsARefill or visit my website: www.mamaneedsarefill.com, or simply call or text, 206 255 0463.