formerly Diane's Addled Ramblings... the ramblings are still addled, just like before, and the URL is still the same...
it's just the title at the top of the page that's new

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Just One Dance... 10/22/08

This was written in response to a Writer's Workshop prompt, issued by Kathy over at Mama's Losin' It...


It’s that time again! Kathy over at Mama's Losin' It has assigned her weekly writing prompts... I chose, I would walk a mile for…

A mile’s not very far, is it? I walk/wheeze a bunch of them every day… sometimes as many as 6… sometimes (like this week, when I’ve been feeling run-down) only 1 or 2. So I guess, since it seems a fairly insignificant distance, I’d walk a mile for just about anything.

As such, I’m going to change the prompt to this:

I would walk 1,000 miles for…

Now that’s more like it, don’t you think? A thousand miles… that’s a crapload. That would take effort… time… heart… commitment… really good shoes. Am I right? Yes, I am.

So… I’d walk 1,000 miles for… a dance. Yup… just one dance.

You see, when I was little, I used to stand on my dad’s feet and he’d dance me all around the living room to Frank Sinatra or Tony Bennett or big band music. I can see us in my mind’s eye perfectly… arms outstretched, my little hands in his big ones, struggling to keep my balance, both of us laughing. When we danced, I felt special and loved. And I was. I was his girl. He was my hero.

I didn’t inherit my dad’s skills on the dance floor, however. It became painfully clear as I got older that I have no internal rhythm. My brother, who is completely deaf, moves better than I do. It’s sad, really. I couldn’t even take aerobics classes, as I couldn’t sort out the moves properly. When the instructor went one way, I invariably went the other, which caused me to bump into other students. Often. (They didn’t actually ask me not to come back… but they were thinking it, I know.) No rhythm, I tell you. So dancing is not something I do. Ever. And though I’m certainly not above making a fool of myself (and I do so with alarming regularity), I simply cannot bring myself to be that much of a fool.

All that being said, I did muddle through the father/daughter dance at my wedding. It’s tradition, after all. But my dad teased and laughed at me and how awkward I was. I (lovingly) told him to shut up… and then I stepped on his foot… again. So when he asked me to dance with him at another family wedding a few years later, I said no. He asked again. Again I refused. I wish I’d known that would be my last chance.

When my dad was very sick, with no chance of recovery, I saw the movie Hope Floats. There was a scene where Sandra Bullock’s character visits her father, who has Alzheimer’s, in his nursing home. He recognizes her briefly and holds his arms out, asking for a dance. She flashes back to when she’s a child, dancing on her daddy’s feet, just like I did… just like so many little girls do. At that very moment, as I sat there sobbing in the dark movie theatre, I realized I would never dance with my dad again. And my heart broke.

So, yes, I’d absolutely walk 1,000 (or 2,000… or 10,000) miles for one just dance. I’d forget that I have no rhythm… I’d ignore my lack of grace… I’d put my hands in his... I'd rest my head on his shoulder… and I’d dance with my daddy.


diane said...

What a beautiful, sad story.

Ronda's Rants said...

It's beautiful Diane and I remember that scene in the movie! I don't have that kind of relationship with my Dad but I am glad I still have him and I am grateful for the relationship we do have!

Anonymous said...

This is truly beautiful Diane :) said...

Good blog.

Sam_I_am said...

I was going to dance with my dad to "My Little Girl" by Tim McGraw at my wedding, but that will never happen now. I think you and I have a cosmic connection.

Missy said...

That was amazing! Get's you to thinking!

EADotCom said...

Wow.... I had forgotten.

I used to do that too.

And I did it for my sons.

Great writing.

Heiko said...

Diane, I am a guy and remember when I was younger I was in the same position as you but with me it was my mom, there were a few things I would not do like dancing, I have two left feet.
Now she is not here I would give ANYTHING.
I read about you and your Dad and I Physically Cried. Thank You.
You sound like a great lady.

ps: I have you on my blogroll