Although my father died over sixteen years ago, I can still vividly remember sorting through his nightstand and chest as we cleaned out the family house. Dad was selective about the treasures he stored, usually tossing out things that weren’t meaningful to him. My siblings and I found the usual rings, watches, bands, tie clips, cuff links, photos and newspaper clippings in his nightstand drawer. But an assortment of children’s cards stashed along the inside compartment caught my eye. A card with a bright red pony was at the top of the pile.
I knew immediately the greeting card was old from looking at the way the artist drew the pony. Little stitches gave the animal the appearance of a stuffed animal. The pony had a felt material mane and tail inviting me to run my fingers over the soft fabric. Carefully, I lifted the bottom of the card and looked inside.
The card was from me! My name was written in my mother’s handwriting. Other small Hallmark greeting cards dating back to my infant and toddler years were also in the drawer.
What a treasure I’d stumbled upon! The cards were from my dad’s first holidays as a father. All had been carefully bundled together, all signed by my mom with my given name, Debra Jean. All were addressed: To Daddy.
I remember fondly my dad; his sayings, laugh, walk, and stories. But, I’ve never thought about how he felt when he first became a father, until now. Finding his almost fifty-year-old stashed treasures said it all.
Happy Father’s Day, Dad!