They Called him Hop

“He was a wonderful waltz dancer”, she’d tell me. She’s told me on multiple occasions that he was the best dancer she has ever known. Sometimes, he would ask her to dance. Other times, he would just pull her close, and start moving.

This is the first thing I think when I think about you: how much of a wonderful dancer she said you were. She said the waltz was your favorite, and that you were like Fred Astaire. And I’m sure you were in her eyes. She watches polka dancing every Saturday night, and sometimes it sparks up a conversation about you.

She has never stopped loving you.

And I think that’s why, when dad has only bad things to say about you, that I think about you as a whole, three-dimensional person. You’re not just the man that raised my dad and his sister, the man who was so strict that a wet noodle would straighten out for you.

She thought of you as so much more than that.

She says you loved to bowl, and that you were an amazing at it. She says that your bowling buddies used to call you Hop because of the way you bowled.

“They called him Hap,” Dad corrected her once, annoyed.

She doesn’t have a good memory about a lot of things, but if there was one thing she remembered as much as she possibly could, it was you. It made sense that your friends on your bowling team called you Hop. I think Dad is in denial because he bowls the same way you used to.

I think he’s in denial because he is much more like you than he would like to be.

She says that you were sweet and protective of her. You might have had a short temper, she’s mentioned, but you were a good man. You took care of your family as long as you could.

I wish Dad got to know you as an adult, rather than just remember you as the authoritative parent. Maybe his opinion of you wouldn’t be so harsh.

I think my father’s opinion of you doesn’t matter anymore, but hers always will. You helped her get out of a bad relationship, you took care of her and the family you made together, and you loved her until the day you died.

For that, she has never stopped loving you.

And for that, I will always be grateful for you, and believe in love.

So thank you for being her favorite dance partner.


Prompt: Take twenty minutes to write about someone who fascinates you. Name the title after them.

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