Saturday, December 8, 2012

Driving with My Parents

In the months before my parents died a decade ago, I was fortunate enough to spend months with both of them. Dad and I drove around the countryside on our way to and from hospitals and doctor appointments for three months. On one special occasion, he took me with him when he went on his sales route for an entire day and that was a journey that I can laugh about to this very moment.

After Dad died, I took Mom for several drives around the area where she had grown up. She had been bed bound for the last 8 years of her life, so it was a lovely experience for her to be out and about again. We saw her childhood neighborhood where their home had once stood, visited one of her aunts that she hadn't seen in a decade or more, and drove by her high school and other places where she spent time as a teenager. We also visited cemeteries and put flowers on the grave sites of her parents. I can still remember how emotional Mom was while we were there; quietly grieving for her lost relatives in that cemetery.

Both Mom and Dad told me stories during these drives. Stories of the various adventures they had during their lives that had been revived for them while we drove around in those areas. This gave me an opportunity to ask them questions and find out more about these two people that had been so influential in my life. The hopes and dreams that they had created. Stories that I had never heard before.

We also enjoyed some quiet moments together with the car windows rolled down and the fresh country air swirling around us and enveloping us with the sweet scents of the land. Each of us looking at the play of light upon the morning fog, or the glint of a ray of sunlight as it beamed through a cloud to the earth below. During those quiet moments, I don't know what Mom or Dad were thinking, but I enjoyed having those peaceful experiences with them. A special bonding took place as we relaxed in the space that we shared. I will forever cherish my time with Mom and Dad while driving.

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