Every morning Dad would tell us to get away from that damn tire swing. He could look out the kitchen window just in time for me to jump off, hanging in the air till I was forced by physics to fall. Em and I made him so mad at times. We didn’t try…really…we just had a lot of energy, I think. I’d build treehouses with my friends and then she and I would go up at night to read or play with my action figures. She’d always have hers fighting mine. One day we went up there and I guess we forgot to tell Dad. We got home and he was on the phone with Mom. I remember how he looked when we came in. Like he couldn’t believe we just walked in the door. When he gave us a hug I could feel his pulse beating. His hand was shaky but his eyes were brighter than I ever saw them. Em and I didn’t know what the big deal was, so of course we continued to drive him mad. We were playing with legos and he sat on the couch and watched. Years later he would tell me that he looked over and could see me when I turned ten, running to catch the school bus. Thirteen, getting into trouble shoplifting with a couple neighborhood boys. Sixteen, hanging out with my new girlfriend by the tire swing and trying to lay a kiss on her. The doorbell rang about two months later and a man in a dark blue suit talked with Dad for a few minutes. Em and I were spilling cereal everywhere trying to make him breakfast. When he came back he saw the mess we made and just laughed. He poured the dry cereal over my head and Em came to my rescue with a handful on Dad’s head. He lifted us up and spun around like those swings at an amusement park. The cereal flew from our hair and to the floor. When he stopped he sat us down and told us we were going to live somewhere new, somewhere better. Before he died, Dad told me he was sorry I never did get to grab my first kiss by that tire swing.
Created: Mar 20, 2010Document Media