Lori Mullins Johnson en Creative Writers 2/11/2016 · 2 min de lectura · +300



When my father passed away, he left me with a broken heart, our relationship and memories of him forever damaged, and a mess of an estate, part of which had to be dealt with in court. 

He was never an easy person, but we had a good relationship, until my mother died, and shortly after he was manipulated into marrying a caregiver, in his home, and without my knowledge - that's my opinion of the situation anyway. 

That was just the beginning of a horrible situation, that grew out of control. He was in and out of the hospital, with failing health. He was angry, and nasty, and mean to me, whenever he was in the same room with this woman. She manipulated in passive aggressive ways, and because he had married her, we were told there was little we could do, it was his adult decision to do so. There is no law against bad decisions by elderly people I guess.

One day, I went to visit him in the hospital. I walked into the room and she was sitting by him. She leaned over and said in her heavily accented English, "that is your bad daughter". I was taken aback. Me? I was bad because I tried to explain what she was doing. I was bad because I tried to help him, and called Adult Protective Services. I was bad even though I kept on trying, when he screamed at me and told me to go to hell. I was the bad one. I became estranged, kicked out of his life, for a stranger. We didn't speak for months, he gave up his relationship with my husband and children too.

Two weeks before he died, there was some kind of strangeness at his house that required the police to be called. They asked him if there was someone they could call for him, he asked them to call me. I went to check on him the next day, and we had a brief moment alone, where he admitted he should not have married her. Although he never said the words "I am sorry", he knew he had damaged the relationships with my kids and his family, and he asked for help and wanted an attorney. He told me he loved me. One week before his appointment with his attorney, he ended up in the hospital with congestive heart failure, on life support. A little too little, a little too late.

My dad died. In his will, in his trust, and in his trust amendment - he had written it three times, I was to receive his 1973 Corvette for the benefit of my children. The sad thing is that he had damaged those relationships. My kids would have far preferred the last two years of his life to include them, instead of this car. This car is a bittersweet memory.

I went to pick it up, and when we opened the garage it was like he was still working on it. The hood was raised, a blanket was thrown over it to lean inside, and tools were scattered about. It was sad. He had worked on it for about 10 years. He used to say, he was just catching it up on 30 years of delayed maintenance. We brought it home, and stuck the 1973, 454 Stingray in the garage to try to figure out what to do with it, and it is now for sale. 

This car needs a person like my dad to take over. Someone who isn't looking to fix it up to just sell it, but who is investing his time to have something cool, something vintage, something to hand down to their kids or grandchildren.  I hope if that person finds this car, when it is time to pass it on, they have kept those relationships in tact, and valued, so when this car is inherited again, it is a beautiful message and only sweet to receive! It deserves to have the bitter removed, and so do we.

Praveen Raj Gullepalli 3/11/2016 · #5

Godspeed to the graceful Stingray! Far may it roar down the thunder road dear Lori :)

+1 +1
Lori Mullins Johnson 3/11/2016 · #4

#3 Thank you Praveen. That engine roars! My dad actually did a lot to it over the years he was well enough to work on it, but it still needs the stuff he couldn't get to. Yes, I believe the right person will find it, maybe a father and teenager who will work on it together! I would love that.

+1 +1
Praveen Raj Gullepalli 3/11/2016 · #3

Dear Lori, i hope you find a rightful owner for the lovely car soon! To me it looks like an unfinished dream, a symbol of unrequited love...until the incoherent last moments. Am sure Dad realised the negativity he had married into and the positives that he lost along the way. Am glad that you have a heart large enough to forgive and accept. The wound will be healed once the engine starts purring and roars down that road, and it will surely be a gift that stands for passion and love to someone someday!

+1 +1
Lori Mullins Johnson 3/11/2016 · #2

#1 Thank you Irene.

+1 +1
Irene Hackett 3/11/2016 · #1

So sorry for your loss @Lori Mullins Johnson, how sad. I am glad for you that your Father told you that he loved you. A great idea to find the right owner for the car - and very thoughtful for what your Father would have really appreciated, I'm sure.