By Russ Harriger
I had a rare encounter that I have to share. Was it Bigfoot, a Yeti?
I had an encounter with a dad today.
It had been a long day for me. The alarm went off at 3:45 a.m. I had to shower, travel to the airport and catch a 6 a.m. flight to Fort Myers, FL for business meetings. Now, after successful meetings, I was traveling back home.
There I was in the middle of the Atlanta Hartsfield airport, ranked as the busiest airport in the world. A total of 252,000 passengers pass through here on a daily basis, and there were thousands here at this time. I was walking briskly from the arrival gate to find my departure gate. It was now about 8 p.m. One more flight and I would be home.
Shoulder to shoulder, everyone like me was rushing to their next destination. From out of all of the background noise, loudspeakers announcing gate changes, people talking to one another and the regular noise of thousands crammed into a small area, there it was.
It stopped me in my tracks.
Clear as a bell, I heard, “E-I-E-I-O.”
Just five letters.
I stopped. This was not a sound I expected to hear. Not in the middle of all of this.
“And on this farm he had a cow … what does a cow say? That’s right, ‘moo.’”
None of the crowd even stopped moving – except me. While getting bumped around, I stood and scanned the area, trying to identify the source of this mysterious sound.
Then I saw him. A lone figure standing next to the wall in one of the busiest pedestrian areas that one could find.
“And a moo moo here a moo moo there, here a moo there a moo everywhere a moo moo.”
And then it hit me. It was bedtime for a child somewhere, and here was a dad singing his child’s special bedtime song into his phone. In the middle of a bustling airport.
I smiled, and thought, would I have been so confident to stand in the busiest airport and sing to my sons? I hoped that I would if I was in this position, but my sons are grown men now.
I regret that I did not walk over and shake this father’s hand, but I did feel good just knowing that this man loved his child enough to stop his schedule to do this. Would his child remember how his dad cared for him/her? You bet.
Just five letters, but these were truly love letters.
I smiled again and went on to my destination, but I will not forget my sighting of a dad.
That’s a father’s love.
Russ Harriger is an artist, poet and sometime writer living in South Carolina. He adores his wife Joyce of 35 years, treasures his two sons and has three grandchildren, (His “lucky charms”)