TAKING THE WHEEL
I wish I had taken a picture of my first car. But back then, I didn't have a camera. That wasn't as important to me as me owning my own car. I found this picture on the Internet of a very close match.
I was sixteen, and I remember approaching my Dad with my request, "Dad, my friend Greg has a car for sale, only $50. What do you think?"
I loved my Dad. He didn't say much, but he was always there for me. And I never felt the protection and love with anyone as I did when he was near.
I was working at the time, a babysitting job from 3-11 just five houses up Cemetary Road. At 11 PM, Dad would 'just happen' to be walking our German Shepard and would escort me home, knowing how terrified I was to walk through the dimly lit street and past the tombstones that sometimes cried out to me, 'Run!'. Dad didn't say much, but I could feel the love. From one heart to another.
He went to check the car with me and gave me the okay to buy it. I didn't make much back then, but I could surely afford a $50 car with my babysitting money.
I'll never forget the independence I felt as I got behind the wheel of my very own car. I still dream about it, and in my dream, I'm picking up my friends for school, and we're laughing and talking about where we can go after school to get food, and then we go to check in with friends down the road.
I miss that old car. But more than the car, I miss my Dad, and my memory holds a crystal clear day at the Hoffman Ballfield where he sat in the passenger seat teaching me to parallel park. He had the patience of a saint and a sixpack of beer in the fridge to help endure. He was kind and quiet, the gentlest man I've ever known, and I loved him with all my heart.
He was only 53 when he died. Once in a while, I will have a dream where I see him somewhere and ask him where he has been. He is well... like he has been here all along. I hope that's God's way of giving me a glimpse into Heaven and a little of what it will be like because it is comforting like death has no power there.
On this Father's Day, I reflect on this memory of my Dad and whisper a prayer to God of how grateful I am to have had Dad in my life. He wasn't perfect, but he was perfect for me!
That's me in the beautiful, brilliant, purple,
puffy sleeved, groovy and wonderful blouse. There
must've been a sale on those glasses.