Dad’s Druthers


From the desk of Teresa Jordan, Executive Director – When I was nineteen, I stopped to get gas and managed to scrape the side of the van on the post that stands beside the pump – I guess sort of guarding it from potential damage, like what I would have done if it hadn’t been there. I heard the scraping and my heart sank as I knew that the van I was driving was only about two months old. The gas attendant (we used to have those) was a high school friend who tactfully said, “Whoa, Teresa, I thought you could drive?”

Let’s put this in better perspective – this was an eleven passenger van to accommodate the ten people in my family at that time. This was my parents’ new van and I had just scratched the entire side! I remember stopping by the river on the way home and trying to dab off some of the yellow paint to make it look better.

Then it was time to enter the driveway. I had to face my dad, and he was really, really mad! I knew because his face was a weird shade of purple. I cried and apologized, and I explained that the extra length was hard to turn around the pumps. I was beside myself.

My dad said very little – just agreed that it was an accident. His new van, his family mover, one of only four new vehicles that he owned in his lifetime, was totally messed up – but he knew it was not intended, he knew that I was remorseful and he left it at that. But, you know what else he did? He never got it fixed. I had to face those scratches, over and over, for like 10 years.

One year ago today, my dad died and I think of this – and a million other stories about him – and I miss him. We all know people, know pain, know joy, know challenge and triumph. I guess, like my dad decided to do, we should let the scratches show and remember the messed up bits along with the great stuff. It’s all part of life, after all, covered in paint and stretched out… And underneath the scratches we are really still there, those scratches making us who we are today.

Thanks for all you do, each day, scratchy and smooth.

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