The first item on the agenda for my uncle and me was to hit the liquor store. Lots of alcohol was needed, my Dad had just passed away, six months after my Mom. Both my parents gone to massive heart attacks in a matter of months. We were in a tremendous state of shock and grief.
One of the things my aunt and uncle and I enjoy when we get together is eat, crack a few bottles of wine and enjoy each other’s company. Other than the pain we all shared, this was no different. Although I think a little scotch was involved this time around.
As we sat around the house, curled on the sofa, stretched out on the floor, reminiscing about my parents, someone pointed out that we needed to put the trash and recycling out. I grabbed my niece and headed to the garage.
The garage housed a 1969 fully restored burgundy Ford Mustang. It’s a beautiful car. It belonged to my brother, who was in the midst of restoring when he died. That’s another story. So my Dad kept the car and brought it to its original condition. I wasn’t completely happy about all the money he spent but I understood his need to do so. Dad was so protective of the car too, it was his baby and his link to his lost son. No one was allowed to touch it for fear of a dreaded fingerprint. We were allowed to be a passenger if he so inclined but we could never drive it! He proudly took it to car shows, it was his new hobby that brought him joy and kept him close to my brother.
Which brings me back to my niece and I in the garage gathering the trash. She was dragging this huge bag of trash, walking backwards while I struggled with the heaping bin of recycling. Heaping full of wine bottles. Just about the time I was beside the car one bottle started moving. It rolled and fell right into the drivers side panel and shattered on the floor. My niece stopped dead in her tracks still grasping the trash bag with this look of shock and horror screaming “AWWW!” I sat the bin down and just stared at the huge chip in the car and just froze. Then the crying and tears started, it was like a thunderstorm let loose. I started crying out things like “OMG he’s gonna haunt me forever! He’ll get me in my sleep tonight!” Then the laughing started, terrific gut wrenching laughter, but only from me. My niece was still standing there with the same look on her face. She knew I was dead meat if my Dad could possibly find a way back to rip me to shreds. And before I knew it she went running back into the house telling everyone what I just did. The family gathering moved to the garage, maybe it was more like racing which made me cry and laugh more intently, I think they were silently praying for my safety through the rest of my earthbound life.
I made it alive through the night. No haunting either. And I’m pertty sure that my Dad wasn’t mad at all but was laughing instead. My son has the car now. And the chip out of the side panel is still there.