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An extra set

My mother died Christmas Eve, 2007, four weeks after my husband, Charles. I’m an only child and until July, 2014, I had my wonderful, wacky dad in my life. I could (should ?) write another whole other book about my father and how Mr. Independent drove me crazy trying to take care of him. Suffice it to say, I never, ever won.

Once, we were talking and he made the statement that probably my cousins should have taken their father’s car keys away from him before he died. I looked at Daddy and said, "Good, you remember that when I take yours." He never missed a beat, returned my gaze, and said, "Well, that just tells me I need to make an extra set."

When Daddy died, Charles wasn’t there to help me; it took me almost a year to go completely through the home that he and Mama had built for their retirement and loved so well for almost 30 years. Toward the end of that tough year, I climbed up to empty a tall kitchen cabinet, and there, on the very top shelf, in a bowl, pushed waay back – was an extra set of car keys. I just about fell off the ladder laughing. Part of me wanted to cry but I couldn’t stop laughing.

And I knew Daddy was laughing too.

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