We were taking a family road trip across the country. In the middle of the night we stopped briefly to change drivers and I quickly slipped into the coveted front seat as Mom went to sleep in back. I was about 12 and felt so special, keeping Dad company as the sky started to change from ink to rose. It was my first dawn on the road and was amazing. We were dropping into Albuquerque from the hills and seeing city lights below as the dark blue haze shifted to full color in early morning light.
A deer darted through the headlights and woke us out of a lazy banter. Dad slowed the car to a crawl as another and another jumped across the road. I’d never seen anything like it and felt waves of happiness as each one bounded in and out of sight. That memory of our family road trip was the closest I ever felt to my father, until last year.
The second family road trip
One of the last gifts he gave me was his company on a commute. I was going to a speaking engagement about 60 miles north of home and invited him to come with me, as I knew several of his old friends lived in that area. He was moving slow from congestive heart failure and I felt it might be one of the last times he’d have the chance. Knowing the proud and strong man he was, I handed him the keys as we got out to my car, but he smiled and just said, ‘You drive’. It was our last family road trip and I write this on my first Father’s Day without his sweet presence.
Remembering Dad, I’m so grateful for all his gifts, especially a love of travel, family road trips and otherwise. His presence continues on, always encouraging me to keep going.
copyright June 2009 – Elaine Masters, RYT, speaker & author of award-winning Drivetime Yoga. www.DrivetimeYoga.com