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Dedicated to My dad
Submitted by Cathy
Not all love stories are romances. We can love all types of people, places, and objects. Nine-year old Cathy adored her foreign doll collection. Daddy was a sailor and brought her a charming doll each time he returned from a distant port. The Guatemalan doll had the brightest clothes. Japan's beauty wore silken fabrics with golden threads. The wooden Italian doll had the biggest smile. The doll from Hawaii was Cathy's favorite. This was 1956 and Hawaii was not yet a state. She considered it quite foreign with its grass skirt and delicate lei. She loved it so because when she hugged it she felt closer to her daddy who had gone back to Hawaii. He would wait for Cathy and her mom to move back there.
She named it Hula Heidi. "Why would you name it that?" said her mother packing for the airplane trip.
"Because I like to braid her long black hair. In braids she looks like Heidi in my book," she said.
"I think she looks more like your Peruvian Indian doll with braids, but call her whatever you like".
The next day Cathy, Mom and baby brother boarded the plane to Oahu. She enjoyed looking out the window, hugging Hula Heidi the whole time. After staring at miles of endless ocean she finally saw the palm trees below as the plane landed. "Cathy, please hold the baby. I need to grab two bags," said her mother. "The flight attendant is getting the diaper bag and your things."
After a joyous reunion with much hugging and kissing with daddy they made their way to new quarters. "You're going to love it here," said Daddy. "You can swim and play in the sand everyday. Maybe you'll learn to do the hula."
"Oh no! Where is my Hula Heidi?" she cried.
"Is it on top of the bags?" said Mom.
"I think I dropped it on the plane carrying Robby," she said wiping her tears.
"Don't worry. We'll get it back," said Daddy.
The little girl could not enjoy paradise with the doll missing. Several days passed without her even putting a toe into the ocean waves. She stayed in her room staring at the incomplete doll collection.
Mom knocked at her door. "Cathy, you have company. A neighbor girl wants to meet you."
"Hi. I'm Lani. May I see your dolls?"
"Sure, but the best one is lost," Cathy said.
"They are so beautiful. Where did you get them all?"
"My dad gave them to me when he came back from his cruises.
"You are so lucky to have a dad. Mine was killed in the war," Lani said. Cathy felt a great weight lift from her shoulders.
"Gee, daddies are a lot more important than dollies. I guess I shouldn't feel so bad. I'm lucky to have the best dad in the whole world." Mom peeked in and said, "The airline people just found your doll. Daddy's going to pick it up for you."