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Daddy to the Rescue

I found my Dad’s stubbornness particularly irksome one Friday night after partying with friends until the wee hours.

Because of the bitter cold, my rattle-trap car was acting up worse than usual. and left me stranded on the icy expressway.

Eventually a car came along. I flagged it down and got a ride to a 24 hour coffee shop where I called home awakening my father from the only sleep he had received between two overtime shifts.

When Dad arrived I just wanted him to take me directly home. But, he informed me we were going back to get my car.

“It’s a piece of junk.” I said. “They can tow it away to the impound and keep it!”

“No. It is the principle of the thing. That automobile has served you and you have a responsibility to at least save it and.......”

“But, Dad,” I interrupted, “ We’re not talking about a living creature, here....”

And...” He continued, “no daughter of mine is going to abandon a vehicle on the highway like trash, where somebody could get in an accident on account of it. Besides, it is against the law.  Where is your personal integrity?”

“My personal integrity?”  I sputtered  “It abandoned me about three hours ago when that stupid car abandoned me!”

But, I knew Dad was right. This time, I was the one being hard-headed.  He stood there grinning at me, already knowing I would give in.

“Keep your chin up. You can do this.” he reminded me.

Dad opened the hood and began troubleshooting.  I stood there shivering with the flashlight in my gloved hands as my father’s bare fingers worked over the carburetor.  Each time the wind howled, I whined.  “Just leave it, Dad.  I really don’t care!”  But, Dad cared very much and kept at it.

I wondered how he could tolerate the weather. I was bundled up. He wore his work jacket, no scarf for his neck, no hat to warm his bald head. As his face and ears turned red, tears formed in his eyes from the sting of the snow. He grabbed the hood of the car and pulled it down, grazing his forehead. He reached up with his chapped hands and wiped the blood on his sleeve.

He shouted, “Get in the car!”  I thought, finally, he is listening to reason, as I sauntered back toward his car.

“No, I mean your car! Get inside and turn the key!”

“Don’t you ever give up?” I shot back at him.

He looked directly at me. “Not on your life!”

I got in my car and turned the key. Lo and behold, that piece of junk started right up and purred.

Driving home I felt ashamed of myself and filled with love and a new found respect for my father’s determination and sacrifice.

I realized, I can succeed no matter what the odds because I inherited determination, not stubbornness, from my father.

And looking in the rear view mirror, I held my chin up, and was secure in the knowledge that Dad was right behind me in more ways than I had ever imagined.


Note: Photos are from family albums. The photo of my father wearing a goatee is one I took.

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Created by some very talented friends.

My Daddy

He comes home
from work wearing
his gray striped overalls
covered with Vanadium dust.
I think he is the
President of the United States
I'm close. He is
the President of his Union

"Carry me. Carry me."
I whine and beg.
He's so tall,
when he lifts me up,
I can touch the sky.
Well, the ceiling, I mean.
And I can feel the place
where he fell through
one day, from the attic
as I sat in my high chair
just a moment before.

They tell me
I wasn't there,
That it happened
to my brother.
Perhaps I was there,
Waiting to be born.