Monday, August 8, 2011

A story about my Dad and me

I am my father's daughter.

We share a good many things in common. I have his feet. His strong love of family. His discerning spirit. His letter writing habit. And also his short leash on patience, something we both want to overcome.

I could pick his laughter out of a crowd as well as his whistle. He can name a tune within the first beat, and offers a hundred dollar bill to the first person to name an obscure artist of a song he knows my mom nor I will be able to guess. He knows how to play his cards like that. If I had a nickel for every time he asked, Who sings it?, well... I'd have a wealth of nickels.

I should also mention that he is a miracle worker. That's right. When I was a little girl and in the throws of a bad coughing fit in the middle of the night, my Dad would fix his special medicine that would cure the cough like nothing else. His potion, as I called it, was strong and swift and boy, did it work.

It tasted awful though, his potion. And even though I knew it would cure me, I dreaded swallowing that warm amber liquid. I always knew when it was coming, too. I'd hear the back door of our house open, the one that leads to the carport. It makes the same noise today it made then, only today it is accompanied by the chime of the alarm system. And just like that, I would know the potion was on it's way.

Within minutes, the back door would open again. Dad would be back inside, in the kitchen, opening this cabinet, closing that one, working quietly and assuredly in the dark of night to help his little girl. Then, he'd be at my bedside, turning on the pink lamp with the lace lampshade on my nightstand.

Here you go, Doodle. Drink this up, now, he'd say.
It's time for your potion, huh, Dad?, I'd say between fits of coughing, half of me grateful and the other half of me willing away the medicinal liquid before me.

I'd drink it up, wince a little, hand the small, empty glass back to Dad.
There we go, Doodle. You'll feel better now, he'd say and hug me sweetly as I lay back down.

Morning would come and with it, a sense of victory knowing I had conquered the potion one more time. My cough long subsided, I would also garner a confidence that my Dad had worked a miracle yet again.

I suppose it was in my later teenage years that I learned what Dad's potion actually was.

Lemon juice, crushed peppermint and Jack Daniels.

I always wondered why the potion called for Dad to go outside in the dead of night. And then I understood. The utility room located just off the carport is the only respectable place for my Dad, the Southern Gentleman Deacon that he is, to store his Black Jack.

One thing is for certain, my Dad never had to worry about me tampering with ole Jack in my college days.
It was and always will be potion in my book.


  1. haha that's awesome. good old jack to the rescue.

    also - wait until you see the post i wrote today. looks like we both had our dad on our minds!

  2. I was getting nervous that the potion might contain motor oil or something when you mentioned him going out to the garage! I've always heard that was good on a cough. :)

  3. Colleen- we did, indeed. :)

    Lynn- motor oil? Funny. And yes, it definitely cures what ails you.

  4. love this post. You are a fantastic writer molly. Such a wonderful dad too! He does have a great laugh too!

  5. Love it. My dad mixed up the same potion and I didn't know until later years either, but boy did it do the trick, on the coughing. (it must've put us in a deep snooze) Thank God for daddies!

  6. Linds- Thank you. :) I am glad you like his laugh, too.

    kkd- A deep snooze, for sure!

  7. Ha! This is great! jmg

  8. Molly, how were we not best friends when we lived in Troy? I am a HUGE daddy's girl. And all weekend I was thinking how I really needed a post all about my father (although being the conservative southern baptist minister it would never involve Jack;)

    Maybe life will bring us together again. Jared's dream is to move to the Boston area. I guess that's closer to NY than AL!

  9. What a memory you have, but then, when something saves your life, you would remember. Good ole Dad and Jack. I all the while I was in bed saying "Good, Andy knows what to do, he has it covered", and fall back to sleep!

  10. What a story! Was about to email you for the "potion" but it seems I may have to pass, hahaha ;) He seems like one amazing man Molly. Full of love.

  11. This one had me laughing out loud at the end. I love your Dad and will keep that potion in mind.

    Also - I call Westley Doodle all. the. time.

  12. Awww Doodle love that. my dad called me wink. ;)

  13. what a lovely story. thanks for sharing about your dad. he seems like an incredible guy.

  14. This is such a great post :) xo

  15. Doodle,Where has the time gone? Seems like yesterday I was making a potion for you. It did work! We do have a short leash on patience. But, when it came to you and Mom, I had all the time in the world. THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES! (who sings it) Love you, Dad

  16. i don't remember how i found you, but i just wanted to say that i love this post :) i love how you wrote it and the feelings i can just tell are right behind it. so sweet. thank god for awesome dads like that.


good communication is as stimulating as black coffee,

and just as hard to sleep after.

anne morrow lindbergh