|My father, Bill Kimbrough, 1923-2010.|
No matter what our financial situation was, and it was usually precarious, we always took the annual family road trip. In Yellowstone Park we watched from the safety of the station wagon as a bear knocked open the ice chest and ate up all our food. We tramped across Custer’s battlefield in Montana. We gazed up at Mt. Rushmore and saw herds of buffalo in the Badlands of South Dakota. We drove up Pike’s Peak in Colorado. Daddy taught me how to fish in a Rocky Mountain stream. I still remember how excited I was that I caught more fish than my brothers that day.
Daddy loved wildlife and animals. In his last year, when there wasn’t much he could do anymore, he wanted his armchair positioned so that he could watch the birds outside. He kept field guides for birds and insects by his chair, along with a pair of binoculars.
The last time we spoke are in my thoughts today. When I walked into the room where he lay on the bed he would not rise from again, this man with the booming voice and the loud, hearty laugh could barely croak, “I love you.” I showed him the pajamas I brought for him. I know he couldn’t care less about pajamas, but he smiled and whispered, “Beautiful.”