My first memory... Or one of the very first, anyways. I don't think I was old enough to speak in full, fluid sentences yet. Perhaps three years old.
I was dizzy, people walked around me talking, chatting, laughing.
They said things like "What a beautiful baby", "Oh, how she grew up!" and those silly words that appear at random whenever an adult sees a cute child.
I did not understand what was going on. There were too many people in my small world.
And suddenly you appeared. You picked me up and said it was time for my nap, that I must be tired.
I felt grateful, but said nothing. I guess I smiled at you, maybe I even frowned out of pure exhaustion.
I don't remember it anymore, but I do remember you looking at me.
I heard the voices coming from another room, but that was no longer my world. My world was you, dad.
You tucked me in and noticed that I still didn't want to go to sleep. You smiled, I think, but sometimes my memory fails me.
You read me a story: I don't remember which one. What I do know is that those stories helped me take my first steps as a an avid reader, and who knows, maybe the reason I started writing.
After finishing the tale, you didn't leave. I didn't say it to you, but you knew I was afraid of the dark, and you kept protecting me, as you did all through my life.
I fell asleep holding your hand. I do remember that. I'll never forget it.
I felt you were with me in my dreams, holding my hand, defending me against the monsters that lurked in the dark.
As time went by, you managed to scare my other monsters away, more real then.
Monsters that didn't lurk underneath my bed, but in the real world. You protected me as I grew, you always did.
You loved and stood by my side even though sometimes it might have seemed I didn't want you to be there.
Even now, years after you took your last breath, it comforts me to know that you are still holding my hand, even if I can't see you, waiting for me to wake up to tell me another story