(2 minute read)
I have only a few memories left of my father.
Most of them are small moments. Moments in time I didn’t realize I would cherish so deeply and unknowingly choose to bring with me into adulthood. Even now, 18 years after his passing, I continue to re-discover new moments with him that teach me more about life. More about people. More about family and faith. More about myself.
In this particular memory I was young, no more than 7 or 8 years old, and riding in the back seat of the car with my brother and step-siblings. I honestly don’t remember where we were going, but I had my brother and my father with me and I was happy.
I was a quiet, inquisitive and introspective child, which is probably why I loved sitting in the window seat during car rides. I used to (and still do) look out the window, and contently consider everything – the trees, the sky, the birds, the people, and on occasion the road kill.
On this particular car ride with my father, my eyes drifted to a strange series of ridges that appeared to be grafted into the pavement beside the car. We must have been on a highway because were driving fast, but no matter how fast we drove these dark ridges seemed to be keeping pace with us.
My small voice spoke up as I asked “Dad, what are these bumps on the side of the road?” His response to this question is what remains branded in my mind over 20 years later.
My father heard me, and without skipping a beat, slowly steered the car toward the right – getting closer and closer to the strange ridges until one or two tires ran over them completely.
The vibration of the rubber tires meeting the mysterious bumps in the road literally shook me - filling my ears with sound and my body with adrenaline. It took me completely by surprise. My father then explained to me that those bumps on the roadside were meant to warn drivers if/when they start to drive off the road. They were there to encourage drivers to return to their lanes.
A simple lesson but he showed me, THEN told me - and I never forgot.
Whenever you have the chance – show them, then tell. You never know what kind of lasting impression it could leave on someone whose watching.
Thank you Dad. I really mean that. I was so young, and I don’t believe that I said it enough, but I can say it again now.