Tuesday, March 01, 2011

My Dad

I've been working on a novel in my spare time for the last couple of months. As a writer, I often draw on personal experience for my characters and storylines. I want to share a very brief excerpt from my work in progress.

Today, my Dad posted an article on his Facebook about "The Perfect Parent". I think, sometimes, he feels like he has to be the perfect parent. But, as there are no perfect people, there can be no perfect parents. But, my parents are really great parents. They have taught me so much. I want to share this story in the life of "Daniella", my fictional character. It's very brief, but it's very much based on something that actually happened in my life. I hope it gives you a picture of my Dad and the very powerful lessons I've learned from him.

Here it is...

Daniella sat stunned as her car finally came to a halt. It had happened in slow motion, or at least it had seemed so to her. There were sounds of tires squealing, glass shattering and metal twisting, but her ears had not absorbed them. There had been no time to react as the car pulled in front of her. The collision sent both cars spinning. By the time her sense caught up to real time, she sat shaking behind the wheel of her car.

Her chest hurt.

Her head was spinning.

She was bleeding from a cut on her leg.

She looked at the scene around her. Not quite seventeen, this was a first. She was a careful driver, but there was nothing she could have done to avoid this. She turned off the ignition and unbuckled her seatbelt, thankful she had remembered to wear it. Opening the door, she carefully stepped out onto the broken glass that glittered on the street.

She moved, as if in a daze, as activity bustled around her. She could see the driver of the other car walking about, seemingly unharmed. Several witnesses stopped and offered the use of their phones so she could call her parents.

The police arrived, redirected traffic and began taking statements. Daniella inspected the damage to her car. Panic welled up inside her and she started to sob as she thought, How am I going to explain this? My car is completely wrecked and I know we don’t have the money to fix it! My parents are going to kill me; they’re never going to let me drive again!

Just as she thought she was going to hyperventilate, big, strong arms wrapped tightly around her and she looked up quickly to see the face of her Dad. Her parents had happened upon the wreck and before her Mom could even utter the words, “That’s Ella!” her Dad was out of the car, across the street and shaving past the police officer shouting, “That’s my daughter!”

“Dad, I’m sorry! It’s not my fault! I tried to stop, but there wasn’t any time!” Ella’s words came out in a rush. “I’m so sorry”, she sobbed.

“Ella, are you ok? Are you hurt? Don’t worry about the car; it’s just a thing. Things can be replaced, but I can’t just make another you”. He embraced her again and she sobbed against his chest.

As a teenager, Ella had often questioned whether she was really loved; by her friends, by her parents, even by God. In that moment, her questions were answered. If her father could care for her so much, and he was imperfect, how much more must her Heavenly Father, who is perfect, love her? She would hold onto this moment and lean on it in the darkest of days.

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Dad, I love you. You may not have been perfect, but you've been the best Dad I could imagine having. I've learned so much from you. I am who I am because of the love, wisdom, and knowledge you and Mom poured into me. You've given me a picture of how my Heavenly Father loves. So many young women never get that. I am so grateful.

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