Friday, June 13, 2014

A Father’s Day to remember

Father’s Day weekend in 1989 was one of the best. I spent it in Chicago with college friends doing what kids two years out of college do: Cubs game, parties, walking along Lake Michigan, bars, restaurants, etc. I made it home to KCI in time to make it to a work reception at Crown Center that Sunday night.

The work reception included twenty people from around the country who had travelled here for a summit on the new division of Sprint we were developing. The reception went really well. People were nice, energy was high, and everyone was gearing up for a full week of meetings. We were talking, eating, drinking, and getting to know each other. I declined offers of alcoholic beverages (since I’d had my fair share over the weekend) and stuck with water.
Unfortunately the driver of the brand new Ford Eagle did not do the same at his event.

As I left Crown Center on that rainy night, the Eagle sped over the hill and ran directly into me. I remember spinning around the intersection praying, “Please don’t let me hit those cars at the stoplight!” Once I saw the power pole, the prayer became, “Please let me avoid the power pole!” The people and pole were safe, but I sat stuck in my car in the middle of Main Street.
It was obvious the other driver was drunk, or rather, on drugs, because immediately after my car stopped spinning, one of his buddies ran to my car to see if I had any drugs for him to hide. Upon hearing my negative answer, the buddy ran around the corner of a building to hide whatever they had in their car.

After the buddy ran away, one of my coworkers came to my aid. Karla recognized my 1984 Citation in the middle of the road as she left Crown Center. Karla stayed with me until my dad came to the hospital. Luckily, the injuries were relatively minor considering there was no driver’s seat left. Hip, back, shoulder, head—all aches and pains but nothing broken. Since there were no broken bones, and I was adamant about preparing for the work summit, the hospital let me leave. It was about 1:00am when my dad drove me away from the hospital. He drove me to my apartment to gather clothes for the week, then he drove me to work to gather materials needed for the summit. The next day, he drove me to Crown Center and waited until my part in the meeting was completed, then he drove me back to my parents' home. He did the same thing every day that week.
June 11, 1989 comes to mind often for a few reasons.

One, the pain and the hassle caused by the crash, obviously. Two, it is annoying to be a victim of a drunk/drugged driver. He apologized after court a month or so later, but it still chaps my hide that something so unnecessary happened. Three, and most importantly, it was Father’s Day and I had not seen my dad that weekend until he arrived at the hospital. Instead of being home having a burger with my dad, I spent the weekend with friends. But, when I needed my dad, he was there for me, even in the middle of the night on Father’s Day.
As you get ready for Father’s Day weekend, I hope your fond memories of your dad bring you much joy. Dads are there without fanfare, and you never know when one minor incident will stick with someone.

Happy Father’s Day to all of the MRIGlobal dads, granddads, stepdads, people who fill in as dads, and moms who wear the dad hats!
Let's all have a memorable weekend but not as memorable as the one from 1989.


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