Dad was sad when we dropped off my sister, niece and nephew. He told me he was happy they surprised him last-minute at the airport. He said his heart stopped when he opened the car passenger door and saw their faces. He said he wishes he had more time with them.
When I drove Dad around town, he recalled all the things we did. He was disappointed that his first NFL game turned out to be a one-point loss to a division rival. In the car, he ticked off the list of activities he had done with his kids and grandkids. My girlfriend in the back seat swiped through his phone to make sure he saved all the photos we sent him via SMS text messages.
Then he grew quiet. Once again he asked me if the Google lady was really watching us from above. This time I explained that it was cell towers bouncing my cellular signal around to lock in our location. I gave Dad a quick side-glance. He was looking out the window towards the sky as if someone was watching him from above.
On our way towards the airport to return the rental car, we stopped at a traffic light. We talked about going our separate ways soon in separate cities. Dad said he was thankful for the trip. He said he couldn’t forgive Jason Garrett for the loss. We talked about how kicker Dan Bailey would have nailed the sixty or so yard field goal if he was given the opportunity.
When I looked over at Dad again I could see a slight smile on his face. At the moment I realized he spent decades driving me around and now that the roles were switched, he was the one looking out the window enjoying the views.
It was a short trip, but we did a lot of things, he said. I nodded. I imagined he was replaying the entire trip over in his head during the red light. He looked happy. Dad looked like someone who had just won the lottery.