Slice of Life Challenge Day 13 #sol18

I saw my father this weekend…

I rang the doorbell.  Inside emanated the familiar barking sounds of an old basset hound, the lock on the door slowly unlatching.  Setting down my worn green suitcase, I straightened up.  Waiting. The door opened.

“Oh, there he is! Hello, son!”  Onto the slate tile floor inside the house, I stepped inside to embrace my father, my father who lives in Portland, Oregon.

“Hi, Pop, how are you?” I gently whispered into his right ear.  As he held me close to him, I detected a slight choking up in his throat as he uttered words about being glad I was there, it had been so long. I smelled the familiar cologne on his neck, and I suddenly thought back to those many times when I was a boy asking my father through a smile, “Dad, did you have a peanut butter sandwich today?”  Because I could smell the peanut butter.  He would just laugh and say, “Well, Mom might have fixed me one.”  Always a scent with my father. Always a smell- grass, cologne, the dogs, gasoline…peanut butter.

Standing embraced with my father, I closed my eyes, realizing I was still working to get used to this new reality.  No, my mom would not be turning the corner to greet me, would not be bustling down the tiled hallway to hug me.  We were alone.

Dad and I stood in a father-son embrace that seem to hang, suspended in time.  “I know Dad, it’s been a long time.”




Author: Lanny Ball

For more than 23 years, Lanny has taught, coached, presented, staff developed, and consulted within the exciting and enigmatic world of literacy. With unyielding passion and belief in the possibility of workshop teaching, Lanny has worked to support students, teachers, and school administrators around the country in outgrowing themselves as both writers and readers. Working first as a classroom teacher, then as a coach and TCRWP Staff Developer, Lanny is now a literacy and reading consultant in Northwestern Connecticut. Outside of literacy, he enjoys raising his three ambitious young daughters with his wife, and playing the piano. Find him on this blog, as well as on Twitter @LannyBall. Lanny is also a co-author of a blog dedicated to supporting teachers and coaches that maintain classroom writing workshops,

8 thoughts on “Slice of Life Challenge Day 13 #sol18”

  1. Lanny,

    My parents are in their mid 70’s to early 80’s. Like you I find myself lucky that they are alive, well and present in my life. Unlike you, there is a geological distance. Skyping, using Duo, texting and phone call does not seem enough.

    Cherish your father. You and him are blessed to have each other. You already are honoring your mom.

    Peace (and joy in family)


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much for your thoughtful comment. I live in Connecticut while my father lives in Oregon. So there is a distance and perhaps I ought to have made that more clear in my slice. I try to visit a few times a year but like you say, it feels far from enough. Luckily he has his health. Thank you again.


  2. What a special moment! Glad your dad was able to see YOU too. You made him a very happy man I’m sure. And scents really do invoke memories of people, places, and times. Thanks for the heartwarming post!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This slice is perfection. Your slow and detailed description just take the reader in. I’m so glad you got to spend time with your dad. The distance to family is so easily forgotten in that one moment. It always returns, but that moment is bliss. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

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