Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Ice Melting

One of my friends on face book shared this video today. I watched, prepared for a sappy message or feel-good moral at the end. God always has a bigger and better plan, even for the internet.

Someone in Russia compiled video clips of strangers helping strangers (and the helpless, in the form of fuzzy ducks, even). As I watched clip after clip, I suddenly realized something I had forgotten for a long, long time and I could feel ice thawing from my angry, hurting heart:

That was my Dad.

I can't tell you how many times as a young girl, driving home on I-15 in Southern California with my Dad and brothers (on what was then a very dangerous, two-lane, curvy road), I would have to sit and wait in the truck while my Dad set the brake, put on his hazard lights, and went to help at an accident. The grey hairs my mother must have accumulated as she looked at the clock and knew we were past due for our arrival on the 2 hour drive from Dad's house to hers, not knowing if he was stopping to help or the one in need of help! If it looked like a minor incident, he would probably offer to call on his CB radio (call name "Sand Man") for roadside assistance. If it was a bad wreck, he would tell us to "stay put!" as he went to aid the injured. One time, he became part of a human chain, passing the wounded up the steep hillside to the road. (I think I fell asleep in the truck for that one.)

In this process of grieving, I have struggled with all the things my Dad did selfishly. As a parent, I know well the daily sacrifices we're called to make on behalf of our children and spouse, and it seems to me he did none of that, instead falling into the worldly trap of "wanting to be happy." True happiness doesn't come by living only for ourselves - I don't think he ever knew that.

And yet, in those brief moments on the side of a steep, rainy, California road, my Dad was a true hero to someone hurting, scared, and lost. I can see him still, extending a strong arm and firm grip to an accident victim. I can see his face, focused on the task at hand, for a rare moment quiet, calm, and serious. In that moment, the victim was the only one who mattered and he would stay with them until ambulance or officer told him he could go. He would then climb back into the truck and wordlessly turn off the hazards, put it in gear, and continue on our way, shaking a cigarette out of his pocket pack as he did so.

Of all the memories that have been stirring around of my Dad, I am thankful that God brought me this one, too.

This is a good memory.

When it counted dearly, my Dad was a good man.


Joanna K. Harris said...

Oh friend, this brought tears to my eyes! How sweet of our Father to remind you of this important truth. I'm so glad you have those valuable memories. May the great Comforter continue to bring healing to your heart.
Love & hugs!!!

Anonymous said...

Love you, dear friend.



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