NORMAN — When I woke up on Wednesday morning I had no idea the amount of responsibility that literally was going to be placed in my hands.
As my dad was being prepared for surgery to repair a hiatal hernia, he had to debling himself. First, he took off his watch. That he handed to my mom, who quickly put it in her tote bag along with his prescriptions. Then he removed his wedding ring. After that a Masonic ring. Without any thought, he handed both of them to me. I felt like I had just been given a pot of gold.
I’ve only known the man to wear a wedding ring as of late. I’d say five years or less. Working for the railroad for 17 years and later as a maintenance man at an elementary school, a wedding band never seemed appropriate. But I’ve never seen my dad not wear that ring declaring to the world that he’s a Mason and darn proud of it.
When he handed the rings over to me, I was in a bit of shock. I stood motionless for a few seconds, pondering what had just happened. I never expected to have it in my possession and I didn’t know if I was old enough to handle such a responsibility.
As I was putting exactly two hours between me and my home, burning Oklahoma roads until I hit the Kansas line to be with dad for his surgery, I remembered that today is Father’s Day. It was ironic that I realized this as I’m driving solo on a long trip.
I remembered all those years in college when he’d worry about me traveling alone from home to school. He’d worry even more the older my car would get. But the best advice my dad ever gave me was that if you’re kind to your car, your car will be kind to you. Check the engine’s oil. Check the tires. And always make sure the car is clean. Simple advice that’s saved me money over the years.