I can still envision my dad’s old Corvette it was white with red leather interior with a t-top. A faint memory but still a memory, a happy memory of what was. It was the “cool” car, maybe even my dad’s midlife crisis vehicle. Nevertheless I felt extremely special when he would take me for drives. My hair blowing in the wind and an ear to ear smile beaming across my face.
The cool car eventually left our lives and an impending illness struck our family like a lightning bolt. Growing up my father was unfortunately sick. He had been diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s when I was merely twelve years old. A time frame in my life that I was on the cusp of going through puberty with raging hormones and plenty of mood swings. If I could take back some of my feelings I would. My feelings of embarrassment, of frustration, even of sadness.
I vividly remember him working on the car in our garage, tinkering away. Now as a 30-something year old woman I wish I would have rolled up my sleeves and gotten grease on my little hands and face. I wished I would have not worried about messing up my clothes. Although a wish to go back in time is unrealistic, I do wish it was possible. I may have been too young to remember how to fix anything he had taught me back then but the idea of it now, knowing HE showed me wishes it would have been possible.
I give a HUGE kudos to my mother for all she has taught me throughout my life. Building a career, raising two children, and caring for a sick husband is by no means an easy task. It is stressful, overwhelming and takes a toll on even the strongest person. But I do think there are things I may have missed with having a sick father for most of my adolescence. Things that he was passionate about or knew how to do that were not a strong suit for my mom or things we could pay an expert to do.
Now as I am a mom with my own offspring I want to teach my girls the importance of being able to DO ANYTHING. Setting aside past notions of what is a “Man’s Job” and having my girls know how to do it. Now I can’t say I ever have the inordinate passion to change my own oil, but I regrettably still do not know how to change a tire. I am teaching myself life lessons as I go along that maybe a father may have taught me.
My goal is to try new things. The power of YouTube and the internet is amazing. I am proud of myself after each project, and it helps when you have a little cheerleader rooting for you who is just as enthusiastic, even if it’s a toilet seat.