Its Sunday, 2 May 2010 and I just finished watching "My Classic Car" this morning on cable TV - its almost habitual and something I have been doing for...well lets say I have been watching this and other like shows for years.
I have always been an automobile enthusiast...its something I got from my Dad and something that has stayed with me since I learned to drive the old Jeep we had in Nan's backyard...back when I was just 7 years old. I remember vividly watching my Dad spend time getting the Jeep to the point where it could be driven...and then he would have to go off to work...I would "attempt" to drive it around the back yard...with varying degrees of success...right up until my Grandmother would catch me and say "put it back before your father gets home"
Those memories carried me through a multitude of vehicle purchases and sales...I have owned a plethora of classic cars; Jeeps; various convertibles; motorcycles; trucks...and even a delivery vehicle (think Ice Cream Truck from the movie "Borat")- in all of those rides I looked back at where it all began...it was a "gift" from my Dad...it was not wrapped in a ribbon nor was it something placed under the Christmas Tree...it was passed to me through his actions and his interests. It was a gift I treasured then and now.
I remember fondly the Alfa Romeo; the 61 Chevy Impala SS...the 51 Ford...Kevin's first car (an old taxi cab without a back seat)...and probably another 20-30 cars and trucks...and how all of them...no matter the condition...had the ability to capture and hold my attention as a child...these vehicles all had a profound impact on me...and now...upon my children.
The last several days have been long for Task Force Hayes...I was finally able to sit and talk about what is happening in my life and the impact it will have on them...I plan on writing about that later...but as the sun came out again late in the afternoon on Saturday Jake asked to take out the convertible...I said "no-problem"
I think the boys needed some time to decompress...driving with the top down provided that for them...and I hope they understand that this is the power of vehicles...the gift...at some level...of freedom
Jake and Ian have been raised around many vehicles...both have always loved the joy and the openness of driving with the top down. When we lived in Monterey I had an old Chrysler convertible...both boys...albeit young...looked forward to driving down the coastal highway each Friday not as a chore but as a sense of freedom...what little kid does not want the wind whipping through his hair as he is strapped into his car seat?
They are on their way home to meet with their Mother...it will be a poignant conversation...we sat for over 2 full hours discussing what is happening to me and what the future holds...words can not express what it is like to see your children having to deal with this...but as I watch them drive off I know that that our time together is a gift...and like what my father gave me...I too am grateful for these boys and the time that we have left.