March 17th was my Dad’s birthday. So I usually dedicate time on this day to thinking about the impact that he had on my life and the lessons I learned from him.
A few weeks before my 16th birthday, I had my eyes on a blue 1967 Pontiac Firebird. It was a beautiful car and wicked fast. Just what I needed.
I had worked the whole year before to save and had just enough money for this car. My Dad loved the car too, though he had second thoughts.
One day after school I needed to go to run an errand and no one was home. I thought it would be a great idea to take my Dad’s motorcycle and save him the hassle. Even though I wasn’t supposed to ride without his permission. I did it anyway.
Less than a mile from my house, I was rounding a blind curve and going too fast. About halfway through the turn, I saw two kids in the street ahead. There was no way to stop in time and I did not make the turn.
Instead, I ran into a tree off the road and bent the frame of the bike.
To most folks, this would have been an ordinary motorcycle. But it was much more to him. My Dad and I had spent countless hours restoring this bike to it’s former glory. He kept it covered in the garage and washed it every week.
I pushed the bike home and he was standing in the driveway. He never said a word about the bike or the wreck. Though I knew it was killing him inside.
He sold the bike to the salvage yard and convinced me to buy a 1978 Thunderbird instead.
It was big, ugly and built like a tank. He probably saved my life doing it, but that’s a story for another day.
35 years later, I still appreciate the grace and forgiveness that he showed me. And I learned how you treat others leaves the biggest impact on their life.
Who in your life was the change that they wanted to see in this world?
I’d love to hear your story.
The Deal of the Day is a classic bungalow in East Nashville in need of renovation and currently listed for less than $225,000.