There is this one particular day that still rises to the surface of my memories quite often. We were at the workshop on our old farm. I was about 9 and I wanted something. I had seen the baby rabbits at school and decided I needed rabbits. I had happened to be with my dad while he was working. I would work hard to not be obvious, but as a young girl following him around all day he got my deeper meaning.
We were standing outside the office watching the workers run to and from. Hammering, fixing and there were always some that were lazing around rather than working. Dad finally looked down at me and brought up the rabbits. “Stace, I have one condition if we do get you rabbits.” He said very thoughtfully. I was intrigued but no less ecstatic and excitedly replied “Of course dad, I will do anything.” He smiled at me and said softly “Okay, I want you to promise me that you will make an effort to be happier and to smile more. No more sad Stacey. I want you to be content my girl.”
At the time, I had thought that this was so effortless. That dad was being silly and strangely sentimental. But it only later struck me and touched me that it did mean that much to him. My happiness and my stability meant that much to him.
This thought only occurred to me about a year and a half after his accident. I was hiking up the Nardousberg Mountains on a 21 day camping trip. And this memory struck me - I only caught the deeper meaning seven years later. These were the times that my soul, heart and spirit cherish.