We went out on the
When we pulled in to the locks at the
A few minutes later we were standing at the locks. The tanned man leaned over the locks as the boats slowly rose to the surface, chatting with the boaters, asking them about their boats and where they were from.
It didn't register with me at first but when the man suddenly appeared at my side to casually comment on the weather, the memory of my father hit me like a wave. He WAS my father for a moment. I dissolved into a heap, unable to control my tears. I remember stepping back, away from the water's edge as my husband's arms enfolded me. I think the Farmer whispered an apology to the confused man. I don't remember much else about that day. I think I sheepishly smiled and waved at the man as we left in our boat but I can't be sure. On second glance, he didn't really look much like Dad after all. But there was just something about him.
I like to think Dad was there that day to share the boating experience with me one more time. I have a photo of my Dad, not a very flattering one but he's in his favourite summer uniform: boat shoes and shorts, bare-chested and leather-tanned. Today on his birthday, I'm wearing his gold chain.