There are lots of stories I could tell about my dad. Some are heroic and wonderful, others not so much.
My dad died young, at 58, of brain cancer, and one of the greatest blessings in my life was that, by the time I was 28, we had reconciled all our old grudges and battles.
Here’s one story: A few years before my dad got sick, my very young marriage had failed, and I was moving downstate to start my first teaching job. Of course, I had zero money and no car. But I did have the promise of a job in September, so Dad took a day off work, drove me three hours up to where I’d been living, then three hours back downstate to help me move my few possessions (think card table, mattress, stereo) into a teeny tiny upstairs flat in Howell.
One of those possessions–probably the most expensive thing I owned at the time– was a refrigerator.The apartment had a rickety outside staircase. After everything else had been moved up those stairs, all that was left was the fridge. We didn’t have a dolly or strong young backs available.
So my dad, using the trailer strapping, strapped the fridge to his back and carried it up those stairs, and plugged it in. It still worked. We drove home (another two-hour trip, to the west), where he sold me his car (a brown Buick LeSabre) over the kitchen table, with excellent, low-interest terms. He happily got himself a new Buick the next day.
I paid that Buick off, $50/month. And later sold the fridge, to pay my phone bill, watching the newlywed who bought it strap it to his back.
Down is better than up, when it comes to moving refrigerators. And dads are what you need, when you’re down.