My father died last week. He was 92 years of age. During the last part of my dads life he lived at home, being lovingly cared for by my mother and a team of hospice workers.
The photo above was taken when I was a young equestrian. My hand rests on my dads shoulder and by my side are a group of riding buddies. My horse(Seneca)and I have just won the red ribbon…a second place showing. Looks like it was a good moment for father, daughter and the whole bunch! The person next closest to me, in the photo, is my friend Audrey, whom only recently had contacted me by way of my art website, after our lives had not crossed for 25 some years. The timing of us being connected again was a welcomed coincidence for me at this time.
The memories I have from this part of my life are exciting ones. Mixed with the dangers of a sport that challenged my tall slender body and the growing pains of a young woman. It was a wild ride (at times).
My dad was there a lot and I remember fondly, the way he shined my boots with a soft clean cloth, each time before I entered the show ring. One last buff, just before I went off to jump the hurdle or ride against other stiff competition. It was a meaningful gesture and the thought has stayed with me.
My dad was a passionate car collector and I recall the way he polished his cars, with the same affection he had for shoes. Cleaning and preparing the cars for the show, was another meaningful event.
Maybe it is a lost art? I mean, the polishing of shoes and cars. That may be true. Especially in a society that replaces things before they need cleaning. Yet, I seem to have inherited the knack for polishing shoes and my car as well.
However, it is the timeless truth which is the important and lasting part. The part of remembering how much attention was paid to me by my father.
Paying attention. A cost of love, well spent.