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Compact Father's Day

Father’s Day is a bittersweet day for me as a daughter. I lost my father in April 2020 to glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). Before my dad got sick, summer road trips were a yearly occurrence for my family. Our road trips would last anywhere from two weeks to a month. These trips contributed to some of my best and favorite memories. In honor of my dad, I would like to share one of his amusing road trip stories.

Before I tell my story, I must let you know that my dad and I have no sense of direction- None, Nada, Zip! We would get lost in our local mall; I still do in fact. It is a source of amusement to my family and friends, but that is another story!

It was late; mom, dad, and I were tired, and we were trying to find the hotel. If I remember correctly, we were around the Denver area. We coasted into the city in the middle of a downpour. I pulled under the hotel awning to go check in. The reservation was in my name, but my mom had paid for the room for the night, so this caused both of us to have to go inside to check in. My dad unloaded the car and said he would go park it in the hotel’s parking garage while we finished checking in. We all parted ways under the awning.

I should have known we were headed for trouble when it took my dad a long time to return to the hotel lobby. The parking garage was literally across the walkway from the hotel. Mom and I just figured maybe he was waiting for the weather to lighten up before running across the crosswalk. He finally arrived in the lobby and we went to have a late supper at the hotel’s restaurant.

We awoke to a beautiful sunny day! We packed up and headed to the parking garage. We got in the elevator that serviced the two-level garage. We were all loaded down with bags. Mom and I asked Dad if he could remember where the car was parked. He just glared at us and said, “yes, I parked it between two columns and the word, compact!” He had this confident look on his face that let us know we were not going to be able to ridicule him for his poor sense of direction.

We made it to the second level and he was the closest to the elevator doors. Dad was almost giddy with excitement to prove us wrong. The doors opened and mom and I burst into laughter. All we saw was a sea of columns and the word, compact, was EVERYWHERE! Dad walked out of that elevator with his tattered confidence trailing behind as he searched for the lost vehicle. Mom and I helped as best as we could in between bouts of laughter. I honestly cannot remember what floor of the garage we found the vehicle, but it was after at least a 30-minute search!

The whole family relives this story every time we park a vehicle. Someone will always say, “where did you park the car?” The reply.....”Between two columns with the word, compact!”

Thank you, Daddy, for the best travel memories! Happy Father’s Day!


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