Today while having my truck receiving a little TLC from the wonderful people down at Tom Ahl's, I got a rental car to drive.
I figured the vehicle wouldn't be as awesome at my Mariner, generally loaner vehicles aren't "top of the line", and when they lead me to the lot, to a running Buick park avenue, tan in color and as big as Noah's Ark, I just smiled, and hopped inside. I mean, it's like six degrees outside, no use standing out there freezing to death.
I got inside and sat on the leather driver's seat and it was much squishier than I'd expected. It was as if i was sitting on a pillow....the leather was so soft and worn. I looked out over the dash to see the never-ending hood that seemed to go on for miles. This too made me smile.
As I looked around anxiously for windshield wipers and put the car into drive, I felt the boat slowly move forward and we headed out to Allentown road where I was transported not just to work, but IN TIME! I was no longer 35 years old, driving to my job, I was 7 and riding shotgun with my grandpa Rollie in his Cadillac.
My Grandpa Blockberger was such a wonderful man. Kind, gentle, an absolute example of a Man. And boy did he love his Caddys! They were so smooth, I remember thinking when I rode in them that they felt like you were gliding down the road on a sofa made of feathers.
Growing up the way I did, a bit "rough and tumble", having a man like my Grandpa in my life was such a blessing. I don't know if he even knew how profound of an effect just his presence had on me. So many times, when I was hurt at the hands of a man, I never got bitter, or thought to myself that "ALL MEN" were assholes. How could I, when I knew ONE in particular that would never do such a thing.
I want to tell you a story about him....so you can love him as much as I do.
When I was in High School, I dated this boy, whom we'll call....Donald. Donald was pretty much my first "real" semi-grown-up relationship. I was crazy about him. We'd been dating for about a year when I was to be inducted to the National Honor Society. Which was kinda a big deal to me, as being "smart" was something that I really did strive for. I know, I'm a nerd! But I really did WANT to be a part of something that showed that I was good at something. That I "had something"....ya know?
I'm not super coordinated, I can't paint, or sculpt, or run fast....but getting good grades, that was something I was pretty sure I could do, so to have it recognized by my school by way of being inducted into the Honor Society, well that m'friends was something I was proud of. My older sister too had been in Honor Society...but she disgraced the family by being kicked off of it! *laughs hysterically*...God I love my sister! She's THE BEST and THE WORST influence a girl could ever ask for growing up. (LUV YOU ANG!)
but anyway....so the night before my big induction, my long time boyfriend who I THOUGHT adored me, broke up with me, which I then found out that no only was he breaking up with me, but that he had been cheating on me with someone he worked with, and had gotten her pregnant! I was beyond devastated. I thought he was wonderful! I loved him, my family loved him, he was the center of my universe, and so to hear that he threw it all away like it meant nothing...well, it was more than my young brain could comprehend. I cried all night, and went to school dressed in my "business attire" best, and with puffy eyes and intermittent crying spells, I awaited the assembly in the gym for my induction.
Miss Vargo, my business teacher, bless her soul, took one look at me and she pulled me aside and asked me what boy had broken my heart, and what his address was, because she'd take our class with baseball bats and make him sorry he hurt me! Which I'm not going to lie, really did make me smile...and then blow a snot bubble out of my nose. I never knew Miss Vargo had a sensitive bone in her body until that day, but from that day on, I saw her in a whole knew light. I kinder one, she was a good woman, despite what anyone else ever would say or think of her, I knew she was kind.
but anyway, my folks had a business to run, and their business was at it's peak the day I was to be inducted and they couldn't get away to come to the ceremony. I was feeling THE MOST alone in the world, no boyfriend, no family in the stands giving a shit about my accomplishment, I felt like nothing mattered, least of all me.
But as the ceremony started, and I walked up to the podium to say my part, I saw them there, my Grandma Irene and my Grandpa Rollie, sitting there smiling ever so proud of me. I could see in their eyes not just kindness, but sympathy and love as well. They showed up for me, and in that moment, they kept me from complete and total despair.
After the ceremony, they waited for me, and I walked with them down the long Jefferson High School hallway, and my grandpa put his arm around me and he said "Heather, I know that you are hurting, and I know that you're sad, but I'll tell you right now, any man who will hurt you like this, isn't worth your tears, and isn't worth your love. There WILL be a man someday who will love you in a way that you never have to doubt, who will treat you like the one thing that he'll NEVER want to lose, I know God will send you someone like that. You just wait and see".
He told me that in 1994, and he died in 2002. I never lost hope in finding love like he'd promised me. I never lost faith in men, or in mankind.
So today, I thank Tom Ahl's for giving me a ride with my Grandpa again. I didn't know how much I missed him until that tan boat in my parking lot reminded me.
R.I.P - Rolland Blockberger - aka my Grandpa.
July 28, 1927 - March 23, 2002
Nostalgic in Ohio,