‘One More Day’ … with Dad

By Lynn R. Mitchell

It’s Father’s Day and, once again, my dad is not here. He passed away in 1975 at the age of 51. There’s a country song by Diamond Rio called “One More Day,” and every time I hear that song I think of him. It’s been years since cancer took him away and, yet, a word or song or thought can bring me to my knees as I continue to feel the loss of a man I admired and respected and miss to this day.

He was a simple man, the oldest of five children growing up in Amelia County, Virginia … a child of the Depression who quit school after eighth grade to help support his financially-strapped family.

According to many pundits, he should have felt sorry for himself and given up on life or blamed society. But he didn’t. He served in the Navy during World War II, joining as a teenager and traveling to exotic places around the South Pacific as a gunner on the USS Wisconsin. He came home to Virginia after the war, settled down, married, and raised three daughters. He wasn’t the CEO of some company … but to us he was more.

He was funny, easy-going, and hard to anger but when he did, look out. He was a stern disciplinarian who had a thundering velvet hand when we had misbehaved. He served as a deacon in our church, was a Sunday school teacher for 12-year-old boys, and hosted them at our house once a year for their annual camp-out.  One of his joys throughout the years was traveling to southwest Virginia to attend the Galax Fiddler’s Convention to listen to hours of bluegrass music, a genre I didn’t fully appreciate until long after he was gone.

My dad loved to camp in Shenandoah National Park along the Skyline Drive. We couldn’t afford pricey vacations so my parents took us to the mountains from the time we were very young. Dad was a naturalist before it became fashionable. He was mindful of nature, teaching his girls to leave the flowers for others to enjoy. He taught us to pack out our trash, be respectful of the animals who lived there, and enjoy that beautiful part of Virginia.

We still enjoy that beautiful part of Virginia. When I was one, my parents took me for my first camping trip to Big Meadows Campground … our growing-up years were spent along the Skyline Drive.

Though Dad’s not physically with us, I carry his memory with me and honor him by remembering and practicing what he taught all those years ago.

And that’s why the Diamond Rio song can bring me to tears in a heartbeat. If I could have just one more day with him, it would be sitting around a campfire in Shenandoah National Park … one more time.

“One More Day” by Diamond Rio

Last night I had a crazy dream
A wish was granted just for me, it could be for anything.
I didn’t ask for money or a mansion in Malibu,
I simply wished for one more day with you.

One more day, one more time…
One more sunset, maybe I’d be satisfied.
But then again, I know what it would do
Leave me wishin’ still for one more day with you.

First thing I’d do is pray for time to crawl,
I’d unplug the telephone, keep the TV off,
I’d hold you every second and say a million “I love you’s”…
That’s what I’d do with one more day with you.

One more day, one more time…
One more sunset, maybe I’d be satisfied.
But then again, I know what it would do
Leave me wishin’ still for one more day with you.

Originally posted on Father’s Day 2007.

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3 thoughts on “‘One More Day’ … with Dad

  1. Eula Randall Lucy says:

    This is beautiful, Lynn. Thanks for the memories.
    Love, Mom

  2. Lynn Osborne says:

    Beautifully put Lynn. Like you, I lost my Dad when I was 17, he was 46, too soon to really know the man, but young enough to know that he loved me. I often wonder what he would look and be as a senior with grandchildren. Thanks for sharing this memory of your Dad.

  3. Wonderful sentiments so well written as always! Even though my Dad was with us until
    2003, I can so relate to your words and the wish for just “one more day.”

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