Kimberly Woodruff - A Walk Through Time

A Walk Through Time

 

Kimberly Woodruff

 

           

Glistening blue eyes gleam back at the new father as he envelops his little girl in a plush pink blanket, awaiting his wife’s arrival from the grocery store.  This moment of stillness allows him to realize the beauty of creation, holding it so close to his heart.  He thinks back and wonders how he came so far without realizing the love and joy he would find in having a baby girl.  Someone to guide, and protect, and to love unconditionally cherishing each milestone to come. 

By age nine, his little girl stood by his side behind home plate.

“Come on, Skippy!” her daddy yelled. “Let’s go play some ball!”

And boy, did she love following in her daddy’s footsteps.  Number 9, the family legacy, lived on playing catcher of the softball team.  Year after year, he guided her into a real ball player, a little girl whom he could be proud of.  Win or lose, he held these moments so close to his heart because to every beginning there is an end.

Under the Friday night lights, his spot was always claimed on the 50-yard line, ready to watch his little girl cheer on the night.  “G-O, Let’s go Rams, G-O Let’s go!” Friday night at the stadium turned into ritual for nine years along with the $1 hot cocoa he brought to his little girl at half time.  On Senior Night, he slowly walked her down the field to receive her award and in that moment he knew that Friday nights would always be held close to his heart

When Freshman Move in Day came, he suddenly realized all the moments he would be missing in his little girl’s life when she’d be away at college.  Three years down the road and saying goodbye only got harder each time she left from break.

“The house is so quiet without you here, Skipper! When will you be home next?” he asks his little girl over the phone, eighty miles away.

 As time trickles by, the days begin to slow, but life keeps at a rapid pace.  While he brushes his teeth before bed, he looks up in the mirror and sees his little girl in the photo she taped up; she’s dressed in her cheerleading uniform from Freshman year in high school, that familiar smile glistening back at him.  A beautiful little baby, but a gorgeous young lady stands before him each time she comes home to the family. 

  “I don’t think I can make the trip this weekend, Dad.  I’m sorry I’ll be missing your birthday this year.  Wish I could be with you and the family,” says his daughter, just a few feet away. 

Bags and clothes weigh my arms down as I creep out of the driver’s seat, striving not to make a peep.  Silently, I gesture the back door open and my puppies exuberantly greet me. My cover is blown. The surprise ruined.  

“Welcome home, Skippy!” beams my dad.  “We missed you!”

“Happy Birthday, Daddy!”

This moment he holds close to his heart.