Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Long Car Rides with Daddy

It's been a long New Year's Eve. After work, I drove home to pick up Daddy and we went to Philly to visit my sister. I like long car rides with my dad. It gives me a chance to talk with him without any distractions. Ever since his neck and back surgeries, it's been hard to hold a conversation with him. He's either in too much pain to concentrate or too drugged up to show he cares. It can be annoying or even embarrassing and most of all painful, but it's the truth.

It's just the way it is.

I don't know what it was-- maybe just the emotional weight on both our shoulders of overcoming another year -- but my dad and I had a particularly special conversation on our drive back from Philly.

What made our conversation special could have simply been the fact that I can't remember the last time I've been able to speak with him about such deep subjects for as long as we did... but it was more than that. It was the manner of our words and where we were, physically and emotionally, when we spoke them.

Though 2013 may just be a number, it's hard to forget the significant changes associated with the year. It's hard to overcome feelings of sorrow and it's hard not to pray for a lighter burden or for conversations with my dad like I had today to be a normalcy - not a rarity.

But at the same time, I've learned this year to not ask for a lighter burden but for broader shoulders; to not ask for more when I think I have less but to appreciate what I have today and consider all that comes tomorrow a blessing.

The truth is my parents are getting older, as am I. Time can't be stopped. And with new hours, new days, new years -- come new responsibilities, new lessons.

The car ride with my dad today - coincidentally only hours before 2013 is no more -- was special because it reminded me to value all that came and all that comes, but perhaps most important:

All that is.

Happy 2014. Stay blessed.


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