Tuesday, June 22, 2010
A 1956 Pink Ford Victoria and a Powerful Father's Day Message from Colleague Ed Garten
Less than a year after my father brought home the "Vicky" he made the decision to abandon his family: My mother and my sister and me. He ran off with "that old hussy" as my mother typically loudly proclaimed. He did, in fact, run off with "the younger woman" and, after the divorce never made good on his obligation for child support. I grew up, went off to college and eventually graduate school, and in the spring of 1982 we were living in Tennessee when the phone rang late at night. I answered the phone and the voice on the other end said: "Edward, this is your father.........I understand that I have a grandson. I would love to come and see him............and you." A quarter of a century later my real father wants to come back into my life and being the good Christian that I try to be I said: "Sure, drive down to Tennessee..........let's get reacquainted." He did, and until his death I made attempts to understand him and tried in every way to be kind and gentle as a son. I never really totally forgave him for abandoning me, however, nor did I totally forgive him for never being there for me for those intervening twenty-five years.
I recall him holding my son on his lap now 28 years ago and crying over and over: "all those years, all those wasted years.....", the thought now occurs to me that someone once said "To have a child is to have a heart walking outside your body." With my own son, I've known that thought every moment of every day. I wish my father had known that. Perhaps he did, perhaps he never was able to tell me.
But I still have memories of me crawling into the driver's seat of that 56 "Vicky." Sometimes all we have are our memories. How many of our cherished memories are associated with one or more motor car?