Devotion – A Father’s Love

Step by step they slowly pushed through the warm, waist-high water. Step by deliberate step he guided her across the clear blue pool as if she had never walked through water before. She had one hand gingerly touching the smooth tiles on the side of the pool wall and the other hand clenched tightly around his strong wrist.

He walked step by step alongside her but was a half-step ahead as if to clear a path. They walked quietly most of the time, but there was a silent communication going on as they slowly and surely made their way across lap by lap. Occasionally one would smile as the other made a quick comment, but they usually walked in silence. 

I passed by and he looked up with a smile. I had seen them at the pool several times before. Each day they came in and did the same things – lap by lap, slowly and surely until they hit the 30 minutes mark. This time I noticed how devoted he was to her and how carefully he lifted the buoy-rope which divided the shallow end of the pool from the deeper middle – as she slid by him, she held tightly to the tiles. 

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Although she had a life jacket tied tightly around her chest, I could tell she did not want to let loose. I am sure one day she might have been an accomplished swimmer but now she was in recovery. From what? I am not sure, and it did not really matter because what was most poignant to me was his devotion and constant attention. She was the most important thing in his life at that moment. He was her protector. He was her support. He was her lifeline, and I was taken by that. 

For a moment I wondered if there was anyone in my life who would show me that level of love and devotion. I also quickly thought how grateful I was for my health and my ability to swim, walk, and run without help. This sweet girl relied on her father for so much and he reciprocated by giving his all. 

According to Webster’s the definition of Devotion is the act of dedicating something to a cause, enterprise, or activity. It is alternately “the state of being ardently dedicated and loyal.”  This gentle man epitomized the definition of devotion as he held his daughter’s hand. 

Once he got her situated on the water-lift, which meant placing her body on the seat with her feet tucked onto the foot guards, he carefully raised the lift to the edge of the pool and swung it around for her to face the windowed wall. He placed a large towel around her delicate shoulders and then dried himself off with another towel before moving around to steer her wheelchair close to the lift.

It turns out that she had some ability to hold the towel in her hands and there was some movement in her shoulders, but her legs and feet were still. He gently put his arms around her torso and lifted her into the chair. I could feel his love for her with each action. I could feel her love for him with each glance. I could feel their mutual devotion and then she surprised me by leaving him behind as she moved the wheelchair toward the exit doors! 

She maneuvered quickly around the pool side and from my vantage point in the pool, she came close to the edge. If the wheels slid on standing water beside the pool, she would have fallen in, but I could tell by her focus on the door that that thought never entered her mind. She was in total command of the chair, and he had total trust in her driving!

I know that not all of us have had a father’s devotion as strong as my young friend appeared to have and Father’s Day can be a bitter-sweet day. I am incredibly blessed to have one of the best fathers in the world and I have enjoyed his love and devotion for the last 63 years!!

I could write for hours about the many acts of kindness, love and devotion that my father has given to me and especially the ones freely given in the last 12 years since my husband passed. My father, at age 80, took charge after I got “The Call” from the hospital in Hudson, FL – the call that told me that my four children had lost their father and that never again would they have a Father’s Day like the one the years before. 

My father dropped everything he had going on in his life and totally devoted his next few days to ME and to making my life “easier” if that would ever be possible. My father stepped in to not replace the kids’ dad but to be there to support them in whatever way they might need, and he has been doing that for the last twelve years. A father/grandfather sees things differently than a mom or grandma. A father of ninety-two has seen much over his lifetime and his words of wisdom, advice or big hug fill a void that no other could. 

As my dad slows down physically – as his feet start to shuffle a bit, I am aware that he will not be with us forever on the earth, although I have given him a 10-year employment contract which he has agreed to fulfill! With this thought constantly on my mind I strive to do everything I can to make his life easier and to return the acts of devotion that he has so freely given to me. My mom and dad call me “Mrs. Santa” each time I walk in the door, but Amazon delivery has made things so easy that when either one of them mentions they would like to have X, Y, or Z, it magically appears on their doorstep the next day. 

For me each day I walk into my folk’s home and get a hug or kiss from them, I know that for a moment everything is “right in the world.”  

This Father’s Day wil be a special one for me. It comes three days after my birthday, so I will be able to be Dad’s special gift once more. I recorded a special podcast called Stand Up & Speak Up, An hour with Dad and I am going to publish it on Father’s Day. It includes dad’s family history and stories, told by him, and the production has been a labor of love. 

May I encourage everyone to take a moment and talk to your dad if he is still on this earth and if not, say a little prayer that he will continue to be devoted to you from the other side.  God bless and Happy Father’s Day.

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BenfoComplete is a business based on the goal of living a better life. We aim tirelessly to spread the good news about the amazing effects of nutraceutical Benfotiamine. 

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