i left my camera with his motorcycle.
i didn’t bring it on purpose so i’d be all there. so i’d be in the moment with my dad.
and i missed the shot.
we walked the river and there was another group of people there, too.
people boarded into vans and brought out on an outing. disabled people. people who live unseen in group homes with caregivers. people who exist in between this life and the next.
my dad’s kind of people.
when i called my father the day mazzy was born he joked asked if the baby was alright.
“she doesn’t have a tail or anything does she?”
i didn’t hear him and i did. then i told him.
“dad. they think she has down syndrome.”
and there were no words.
there really aren’t any still. when god decides something it just is – and men stand silent and try to understand.
for the last eleven years my dad has tried with his heart to understand his eldest granddaughter. he’s tried with his spirit to wrap his head around the mind of god.
the fountain next to the river flows and dad talks to the people that no one else talks to.
“you going in?”
he asks a young lady with down syndrome. she looks at him like he’s crazy.
he leans down and starts to untie his shoes. he takes off his socks and rolls up his pant legs.
“well i am.”
they start to tell us their names.
diana, mike, laurie, thomas.
and they start to take off their shoes, too.
soon even the woman who said no way is soaked.
and there is my dad sowing seeds. sowing kindness to someone’s granddaughter.
i know he’s hoping that when mazzy is a young woman that there will be a grandfather who will take his shoes off and celebrate her in a fountain next to the river on a beautiful spring day.
i’m laughing and so is everyone else.
i can’t take a single picture though. it would have been glorious. the light and the water. the laughing smiles and my father’s bare feet. but it’s okay.
there are no words anyway.
there are no pictures that can capture how much i love you, dad.