Friday, June 18, 2010

Tribute to My Parents - Part One - Dad the Superhero

Dad, the Superhero

Today's post is the first in a four part tribute. I will be posting the other parts in the coming days. To read the Tribute in its entirety, go to

I don’t know who it was that put a chain drive mechanism on a tricycle, but the Patterson family, our neighbors on Longridge Road in Charleston, West Virginia, bought the trike and gave it to their girls to ride. That chain drive enabled the rider to develop unbelievable speed; the rider who could not balance well enough to ride even a bike with training wheels was wheeling up and down the street at high speed on a tricycle. It seemed to me that trike could go faster than a car on that West Virginia road.

The roads in West Virginia are many things. But no one would describe them as flat, straight, side-walked or wide-shouldered. In short, these were not good roads for kids on wheels. But there we were: my sister, Debby, and I, skating, running, and tricycling up and down the street. Fortunately, these were the days before working moms and two-car families. So we small-wheelers had the roads to ourselves most of the time.

One Saturday afternoon, Janie Patterson let me ride her chain driven tricycle. Janie was not frequently given to sharing, so I felt supremely honored.

I don’t remember much of the beginning or middle of the ride, but I remember vividly the end. I rode that trike off the road with no shoulder, off the road that was not flat, off the road and over the side and tumbled into the woods. I lay there, face in the dark dirt. Wondering what would happen next.

I did not have to wonder for long. Within the time it took me to realize what had happened and scream my well-practiced, little girl scream, my dad appeared from nowhere. He scooped me up in his arms and carried me back home, where mom worked her boo-boo magic.

There must have been other events like this one that I’ve long since forgotten, events that taught me that people are good, adults can be trusted, loving means caring. These were lessons that shaped my view of the Father God.

I’ll never know how he knew so well where I was, what I was doing, or how much I needed his rescue. I’ll forever believe that he was a super hero. Coming out of nowhere, at just the right time, just when I needed him most.

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