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There are a number of words that will trigger a total and immediate response from me. Hearing Wifey call me by my last name from the bathroom....hearing someone whisper, "Wakeup!", on a Sunday morning in church....hearing someone shout, "OH GOD!" while I'm driving....hearing my car mechanic say, "Uh-Oh,"....and of course, hearing that special word, "Granddad." Still, the most heartfelt and painfully loving word to me has always been, is now, and will be until my last fading moments....the word, "Daddy".

    "Daddy"....the saddest word in my world. The memory of my little three year old daughter calling me that can still choke up this old man even to this very day. That was 46 years ago and even now, when she calls me up and says "Hi daddy", my mind rushes back to those days and I can still hear her little Tinker Bell voice. Little girls have always soften their daddy's hearts.

     It's a strange emotion, in that it's joyful and sad all at the same time. The warmth of it's memory and the sad absence of it today as she lives her busy life so many miles away. Wifey tells me that the older I get, the more I blubber about things close to my heart. A strange and melancholic sadness. The memories of her sitting on my lap and looking up at me with her big wondrous eyes while I made up stories about the in-laws and the bad wolf....there's no better feeling than hearing your little girl laugh and say, “You funny daddy!“. Special moments. Heart rendering as each beautiful moment would quickly pass....never to return. A sad and lost reflection of love and protection.

     So, I think all you moms and dads already understand what I mean when I say it's the saddest word I know, as well as the most joyous. Painfully sad in it's absence, but most wondrous in it's sound.

                                                                                                                    Charlie




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