Friday, January 16, 2009

can you change a tire?

I've written about my dad before, most notably here, but each year different milestones pass and he falls further away. Like today. Today is my dad's birthday, and I knew it was coming, but I almost missed it when it arrived.

I got caught up in the day-to-day grind that keeps pulling along. I got up, went to work, checked out some books, froze my butt off and came home. Lather, rinse, repeat.

And I want to honor who he was as I live my life. I want to make him proud I am his daughter. I want to take the things he has taught me and teach them to my own kids. I want too much.

At the conference where I almost choked, we had to bring in something sentimental to share. The activity was called Sentimental Circle and you certainly needed your tissues. I can't share what others talked about, cause it should also be called Confidential Sentimental Circle, but I can share what I talked about: my dad.

The object I chose to bring in was a tire gauge, to check the air pressure on the tires. That in itself was an odd choice to some people, but for me it made sense. See, my dad gave me that tire gauge, during a long summer before I finally took a car to college. With a 10 hour drive from Florida to North Carolina looming on the horizon, my dad wanted to make sure I could handle a few things. Car ownership was serious business to him and he wanted me to feel safe. We bought my first cellphone that summer.

Back to the tire gauge.

At random times my dad would say "go change the tire" or "check the oil" or "check the air in the tires." Which is why he gave me the tire gauge and showed me how to use it. He didn't believe that I should be out there all alone with no car skills. Yes, I had a cellphone, but it could take hours to get someone out there to change a tire, and that was silly when I could just learn to do it myself. My parents raised us to grow up and move out and move on with life, and we all have.

And let me brag, I'm proud that I can change a tire. One afternoon, Charlie stood on the roadside and I changed the tire when one of the back tires blew out. That was quite a moment and I knew my dad would have been so proud.

So I shared my story and cried some and passed around my tire gauge and gave a little piece of his wisdom with my friends.

My dad would have been 71 today.


Anonymous said...

Thinking of you. That was a great story. You are right I think your dad would be very proud of you.

Jamie said...

I wish I could have met my father in law. :)

Scrapper Mom said...

That's sweet, Sissy. My dad turned 66. He's a great man, but I must say I don't know how to change a tire....I guess I should, but I'll leave that up to my men.

Thanks for the comment. I was getting sad thinking no one had read my post that I put so much heart into. Well, my parents read it and I guess that's all that matters. Have a good weekend.

April said...

Found you on my blogging friend, Scapper Mom's blog. I really love what you shared about your dad...wonderful post. My dad died two years ago at the age of 82. He had lived a long life...but, I still miss him very much. I know you miss your dad, too!

emily said...

Thank you for sharing him with us, Sissy. I always consider it a blessing to hear of him. He certainly would be proud of you.

Malinda said...


Just dropped in and read some of the wonderful stories of your dad. I remember those times and treasure them. I too watch the old reruns of the GG and become transported back to those years of growing up. I realized from your blog today that our fathers have the same birthday! Dad turned 55. Hope to hear from your soon.


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