Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Thanks for the Example, Dad



Mom found the above letter a few days ago and thought I would like to keep it. I remember the incident very well. I was student at Oklahoma State University and also working part time at a grocery store sacking groceries. One evening, a co-worker came in and said that someone ran into my truck and they were trying to drive off. I went outside to look, and the girl was driving off. When she saw me coming out, I think she thought bettter of it and pulled back into the parking lot.

She was very nervous, saying how sorry she was and the she didn't see my truck. She kept promising over and over to take care of it. I told her we needed to call the police, and she told me she didn't have insurance, that she would get a ticket, etc. etc. She had a cell phone (they were not common back then, and pretty big) and called her dad or boyfriend. I heard them telling her not to let me call the police.

Someone in the store had already called, and she did get a ticket for not having insurance. She was crying and sobbing and carrying on about how sorry she was, and how she would make everything right, about how broke she was, etc. etc.

I called dad that night, he said I did the right thing to call the police. He took off work the next morning and made the hour drive to look at the truck. He said that he would take care of everything, and for me not worry about dealing with people. I drove the truck home that weekend, pulled the truck into the garage, and dad fixed what he could. I remember him calling around trying to find a bumper and getting one at a junkyard. He did the body work himself, but there were some problems that he could not fix.

He contacted the girl, and told her what it cost to fix the truck. She was suprised at the amount that the repair cost, but promised that she would come up with the money. After several attempts at continued contact, she agreed to meet my dad and pay. Dad drove back to Stillwater and went to her home at the agreed upon time, and of course nobody was home. He called her a few days later and told her that he was going to file a report with the Department of Public Safety, and that they would take away her license since the accident happened while she was uninsured.

After thinking about it for a a while, dad called the girl again and told her that he wanted to meet with her one more time. He had the letter in hand and drove one more time to her house, and she was not home. He left the letter above on her door, and never heard from her again.

I sometimes wonder what would have happened if she had been at home when she was supposed to. Would he have shared the gospel with her? I wonder how she reacted to the letter. Did it have any impact? Did she feel releived, or did she feel convicted? Did she think he was stupid or backwards? When I think about it from an emotional standpoint nearly 10 years after my dad passed away, I want to think that it had an impact on her life. However, from dealing with her in the past, she probably went on with her life without giving it much thought. I'll never know what would have happened, or how she felt upon receiving the letter, but it is a story about my dad that I will never forget.

Thinking of this story and how he reacted really makes me miss him.

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