Letters from the past
1. A Letter From Dad
“I don’t know yet if you are a boy or a girl, but WELCOME to the family. I apologize for all the mistakes I will do and I will say it here and now– You don’t have an instruction book. I have asked your grampa a few things and all he has done is laugh that I will find out!”
She read on, the words written in business like block lettering with a pen on a notebook that looked as if it were written on a vibrating surface of the helicopter that he rode in.
“Right now, we are flying into the back country for a fire spotted by a mountain lookout. I am in a helicopter with eleven other firefighters, the person next to me is Linda Martinho and she says “Hi from the past!”. A nice lady, quite, pretty and tough as they come. (A secret, she is tough, but smallish, about the size of your gramma Ida). We are flying in to the fire lines, we have to cut lines around a big burn and… Will have to finish this later, we are landing now.”
The smell of smoke was still on the paper that was also stained with his perspiration after riding in his pocket for an unknown amount of time.
She held the paper to her nose and close her eyes. Imagining her dad young and strong. Appearing as he did in the pictures. Broad shouldered, smiling and covered in soot, ash and what looked like pink paint. He was handsome as they could come. Her mom always talked about how he looked in the cut-off jeans he wore in lieu of swim trunks, she almost always blushed and giggled like she must have when she was only eighteen.
Tall and red-headed. Her dad often told her stories about the history of their family with the joy of the legends of the O’Danu family dancing in the glittering green eyes. As she grew, his red hair became laced with white. There was no middle ground with her personal hero. Like him the hair would not find an in-between color of fading red. It was either red — or white.
Words on paper, really it was all she had now. The letters and the ash that the man in uniform gave her in a small jar.
The ash where the government suspected that everyone died and their bodies immolated in the fire that followed.
Cassie refused to believe it, she could not believe it!
Dad had promised her, and dad’s don’t break promises lightly.
World’s end, the universe would explode, but a dad making a promise to their child?
It was law, it was so.
Whispering to the universe, willing her dad to hear her voice and her heart.
Cassie poured the ash from the burned out helicopter into the waters of the outflowing bay while reading an old Druid chant of protection and return.
A chant she finished with a tear that dripped off her chin.
‟Dad, come home.”