The old second hand 8-cylinder “bat-mobile” is gone. The red-plated Minica is no longer. The Mitsubishi lancer was sacrificially sold to pay for attorney’s fees to settle a sibling’s case. I remember these cars my father drove while I was growing up. I can still recall how big the “bat-mobile” was and how I would sink into the backseat and become nauseous. I could barely look out the window because it was too high. Or was I too small? One day it was no longer in our garage. Some time later, my father brought home a smaller car – a red-plated Minica. I remember my dad taking a picture of me in front of the car right before he drove me to PICC for my college graduation. Later on, he gave it back to the office when he retired and our garage was empty again. Finally, my father brought home a Mitsubishi Lancer. A car he bought with his retirement money. He lovingly took care of it. This car was his prized reward from all the years he had been working as a government employee. He would drive more than 40 kilometers just to fetch me and my dirty laundry from my dorm and then bring me back the following day. It didn’t matter even if it was already late in the night. I clearly remember those moments with him in the car. Everything was safe when I was with him. Unfortunately, there came a time that he had to sell it for a greater need. Without a thought he gave it up sacrificially to shoulder the legal fees of someone so dear to him. Our garage was empty once again. My father has since passed. I miss him terribly and though I’ve accepted the fact that he is in a better place, the pain is as real today as the day he left me. Life is not the same.
Today, I have a family of my own – a husband, two kids. We have our own car, but it was just the other day that I realized something missing from it. I received an email that reminded me what it was. I quickly rummaged through our house to find it and when I finally did, tears welled up in my eyes. My childhood came flooding back to me and the little memento I found was the only witness to all those years of riding with my father. This little memento had been hanging in every car that we had. They are my old and tattered little red shoes that I wore when I was a baby. My father kept and preserved them and hung them on the rearview mirror in each and every car we ever had. Maybe my father wanted to remember me whenever he saw my shoes hanging on the mirror. Maybe he wanted me to be close by… to be within reach… to be his little baby even if he knew I was pursuing my own career. When we sold the Mitsubishi Lancer, I forgot all about those shoes. I got married, moved house and had kids. There was no place to hang them… until today. Thanks to that email, I can now hang my little red shoes once again. This time it’s to remind me of my father and how much he is still a part of my life. Hopefully, I can do the same for my own children – that they too will have many, many fond memories of riding with mom and dad in the car. Thank you, daddy. I love you and miss you.
(here are my little red shoes hanging in our car today)
Thank you Nuffnang for emailing me about this contest.