Friday, July 5, 2013

"As you get older you realize that there are no answers, just stories..." ~ Garrison Keillor


Dad as a med student at MUSC in 1957

I am slowly digesting the past few weeks. This last couple of months has been such a blur. My dad had surgery recently and at 79 this is no small feat. Seeing him struggle to regain his footing has been most difficult.

I am a self admitted daddy's girl. It is his love of medicine and people that runs through my veins and seeing him hurting and afraid, just about undid me.

As difficult as this has been, it has been awesome to be able to spend time with him. We have cleaned the house top to bottom, straightened things that were worrying him, hung pictures, gone through mail and reminisced. I have so enjoyed this time together. There is nothing quite as fulfilling as being able to give back to your parents, even just a little.

Now, my dad is a storyteller. Don't get me wrong. He doesn't make up stories, but he can spin a tale better than about anyone I know. Combine this talent with an interesting, full life and one is never quite certain what adventuresome saga you may hear...




One evening after supper, as we watched American Pickers, Dad began to unravel a story about when he was in medical school. Now, I have heard about how he would sell his blood for extra cash (his blood type is A negative and fairly rare), I have heard about the gentleman that walked into the ER with a stab wound but whose girlfriend didn't want to wait, so they left... with his intestines hanging out. Dad and the med students had combed the obituaries for weeks just sure he died somewhere. But this story was new...

Apparently the house he lived in with his fraternity brothers was near a part of the school where lab technicians were training. Everyday at lunch a bunch of girls would come out and get into a brand new convertible to go to lunch... a 1954 green Cheverolet Bel Air convertible to be exact. Well, I don't know if it was the girls or the convertible but this situation had those medical students enthralled.
Looking at it I can see why, what a beauty...



Oh and yes, she was too...



One day, the pretty young driver left her keys in the car. Dad and his 'brothers' decided that moving the car behind the fraternity house would be funny. And so it was that the girls popped out about noon as usual for lunch expecting to hop into the car, when to their shock they found it gone! Can you imagine? Since dad and the 'brothers' were not subtle at all in their laughter and thought themselves quite the pranksters, it did not take the ladies long to surmise who the culprits were.

Thus, the pretty brunette walked over to the fraternity house and informed my father and his comrades in a steady voice laced with southern charm that her vehicle had better be returned post haste or it would be necessary for her to call the police. Of course, they quickly lead her to the car and that was that, for a while... However, Charleston was not so large then as it is today, and so dad and the pretty young brunette continued to see each other from time to time.

As dad told the story his eyes lit up...he recalled my mother's beauty, her other beaus, their courtship... it was almost as if I could see the street in Charleston, the frat house, mother's flirtatious looks and hear the laughter of his irreverent frat brothers.

So it was as I listened to my dad speak of a time gone by... a simpler time in many respects and relived with him that moment in time. It was bittersweet as I caught a glimpse of these two people that I had only known as parents for now I saw them in an entirely different light, a young man and a young woman in love...


Me and Mom 1959


And I felt sad. Sad that time slips past us so quickly and quietly. Sad that it is while we are living, loving and working so hard, that he sneaks past... that while our heads are bowed in concentration he dances by, carrying the ones we love with him. Sad that we will look up one day from a hard days work to find that the world has changed, that people are gone and we are left telling tales...

I love you, Daddy, thank you for sharing this beautiful story with me.

4 comments:

  1. Nice and heart touching




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  2. Precious story. Warmed my heart.
    Blessings 2 u,
    d

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  3. I actually cried reading this. I just had my parents visiting and went through much the same emotions. I hate the way time treated my parents and I am already wishing they were young again.

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