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July 09 , 2007

The Man Who Straightened Nails

A Daughter Remembers...


I have a memory. It was a wet November day. The wind was relentless.... bitter and cold. My Father and I stood outside of what was left of the old barn. It was skeletal, its days of glory long past. Our once magnificent house had been bulldozed to the ground by the present owner. The source of all my childhood memories had become nothing more than the investment of a stranger.

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Today Dad had on his usual old green hat, but I had seldom seen the ear flaps pulled down. His jacket was too thin for the weather. Conversation was difficult; the wind carried away words the moment they left our lips. Three months had passed since the tragic death of my mother. For the first time in eighty-eight years my father now lived alone. I looked into his face and saw his struggle, and that’s when I knew I would never forget this moment. It would be a heart memory.

This man had always done the right thing, followed all the rules and given freely without expecting re-payment or accolades of any kind. Did my late Mother’s words ever filter through his mind, “No family can continue to be so lucky?” Did he think the pain had ended? During the coming years would he ever question the God he believed so strongly in?

At times I know I did.

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