My Little Bug was my daddy’s and my love for it is completely connected to him. When I drive it, when I work on it, when I wash it, it is time I feel him. Time with his big is time with him.
It’s been three years since he passed away, but it still hurts, more then I would have ever imagined it would. Recently I heard a song on the radio, “I Drive Your Truck” by Lee Brice. I listened to it for the first time driving home at 2am and I burst into tears. It spoke so clearly to how my dad’s stupid Little Bug makes me feel.
When my dad go sick another man entered my life and he became more important to me then I ever would have thought. This man lived down the street from me and owned a truck like my dad’s, an old 56 Chevy pickup. Every now and then when my dad would be out working on the yard or one of the cars I remember seeing this man stop by. I never thought anything of it, I just thought it was neighbors being friendly.
You can imagine then my surprise when this man showed up in my dad’s hospital rooms. The first time he came by lots of random neighbors were coming to visit, so I just assumed he was paying his respects. But, then he came back again, and again, and again. Not everyday, but several times a week. He at times would stay late into the night, being one of the last to leave.
Like I said, at first I found this really weird, but as time went on I realized that my dad’s friendship with this man must have been more then it had appeared and if it wasn’t looking back now it definitely developed into a stronger friendship. Also, as time went on I grew closer to this man, looked forward to his visits. He was caring, funny, harsh, sarcastic and easy to talk to all rolled up into one little man with lots of nautical tattoos. He didn’t want to talk about death or how I was feeling, not that there were a lot of those kind of people visiting my dad to begin with, but he would talk about talk radio, politics, cars, TV, light topics, nothing too serious, but always deep enough for a good conversation.
As my dad’s illness progressed this man’s involvement with my family deepened. His wife began visiting my mom. They began helping with food, cleaning, transportation, or anything else we may have needed. His wife even got my mom re-connected with her church. He and his wife were truly a god send.
After my dad passed away I kinda thought that there presence would slip away, but it became even more prominent and my relationship with this little man became very valuable to me. They were there for our family on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Birthdays. Besides VWs, baking and cooking are another one of my hobbies and I started using them as testers.
The little man helped me get to school and job interviews. He encouraged me in everything I tried. He became one of the few people I felt I could talk openly with. I felt like he really understood me and my views, where I was coming from and things I was going through. He never judged me and I could turn to him at all hours and he would never question. No one could ever replace my dad, but he definitely helped with the hurt, helped take over some of the aspects of my life that were left empty with my father. Maybe it was because he was there and saw everything that happened during my dad’s fight and death, but I trusted him and knew her truly cared for me. No one including myself I think really understood how or why we became so close.
This little man though became someone I always knew was rooting for me, standing strong in my corner, he was always someone I could talk to no mater what. He shared stories about his life, recommended places for me to eat (I blog about that too), and gave me solid life advice. He, every know and then, would even help out with my bug, he bought me the seat covers I have now.
I don’t really know where it happened, I can’t pin point a time, but this little man got really sick some time ago. I know he had been fighting for some time, but around Christmas is when it really began to take a toll on him. Over the last few months I began to see my daddy in him. The mood swings, shrinking body, memory loss, swollen stomach, and days lost to sleep. It became very hard to see him. It always made me want to cry. I forced myself to see him as much as could, or so I tell myself (deep down I know I could have made more time for him). He meant so much to me and deep down I didn’t want to face the facts that time may have been running out.
Sadly my time did run out. Sunday evening he passed away. It was sudden. I had seen him out front getting in his car just that Friday, so when I received the news I was shocked.
It hurts and I don’t really know how to deal with it. I knew my father’s death was coming. I knew when his death was coming, in a way it had hit a point where everyday he woke up with a surprise. With this little man though I thought I had time, that morning I had even thought about taking him pictures of an event I had gone to the day before. But I didn’t and now my time has run out.
I’m learning now the difference between dealing with anticipated loss and loss that catches you off guard. The pain is definitely different and the coping is something I’m learning day by day.
As cliche as this will sound, when you have dealt with this much loss it really makes you think about how you are spending your time and the things you say and do to the those you love. Life is short and uncontrollable…you never know what might happen.
Sorry for getting a little off track with this post. I promise to get back to all things VW next post.