Wednesday, May 8, 2013

The Doppelganger ...

Daddy and Mama
Robert and I moved to Florida in September 2012, from Pennsylvania, just a couple of months after my father passed away. 

I was very close to Daddy and this past couple of years has been a slow, but necessary, time of healing.

Loving it here in Florida has helped, and I often think of the many conversations I had with him about our possible move. Daddy was all for it and already planning to come down and stay for a week, or a month ("Or forever", he teased).

I miss him terribly, but I know in my heart that the move was good. Robert has been wonderful and my rock through it all.

The other day, I was puttering around town in our golf cart doing some errands and enjoying the beautiful weather.

 The honeysuckle was in full bloom along the streets, its sweet scent intoxicating, and I noticed my favorite trees, the crepe myrtles, were greening nicely everywhere, soon to wear their deep color flower bunches.

 Once, I even pulled over and parked in the grass so I could smell a huge flower on a magnolia tree. It was so peaceful and relaxing -- it really is paradise here and I'm continually amazed by the native plants and animals that are so different from those up north.

I wasn't in any particular hurry as I shopped for groceries, picked up a couple of things in the hardware store, and then headed to my last stop at CVS for vitamins. My mind was filled with thoughts of my new book and ways to market and publicize as I headed toward the checkout and got in the short line.

Suddenly, my world flip-flopped, taking my breath away. The man just in front of me in line was Daddy. How could that be? I asked myself in disbelief. But this man did have the same build, the same thinning hair, clothes, and he was sitting on a red motorized scooter like my father used because of his painful knees and ankle.

 When he slowly reached up to the counter to swipe his credit card in the machine, I also saw my father's hand. That's when tears filled my eyes. Could it somehow be …

Then he turned to look at the cashier and I could see his face. No, this was not Daddy. As much as I wanted it to be him, he was just a nice older gentleman on a red scooter making his purchase at the CVS drug store. I wiped my eyes with a tissue, took a deep breath, and struggled to regain my composure.

That's the way life works sometimes. Just when you least expect it, a sound, a song, a scent … or a nice elderly man on a red HoverRound scooter, will trigger a sweet memory.  It tugs at the heart, but it also brings a loved one close just one more time to help us heal.

I wonder, would he have been upset, had I asked him for a hug?

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Unknown said...

So touching C J ... it brought tears to my eyes. I lost my father 20 years ago now and whilst it is easier sometimes when I think of him it seems like yesterday. We never really lose the ones we we love. we carry them in our hearts and in the memories we share. I still feel his green eyes watching over me.

CJ Heck said...

Hello Yobial,
Thank you for taking time to read "The Doppelganger" and for your kind words. Yes, I agree, we carry our loved ones in our hearts and in the memories we made together.
A big hug to you,