Sunday, June 15, 2014

The Rescuer

If asked to describe my dad in a single word, my answer might vary depending on the day.  If I was asked after getting in trouble in high school it would be "loquacious", as he daily gave me long lectures on my life choices (as any responsible parent does).  On a day that I'm exceptionally hypochondriacal, I might describe him as "knowledgeable" or "resourceful", as he always seems to know what is wrong with me or how to remedy it (usually with medicine he has in his pocket).  Other times, when I go on my typical rants about nothing, and my dad sits back with an eyebrow raised and arms crossed...on those days I would characterize him as "smug".  If you asked my friends, they would say he is nothing if not "mysterious" - among all my various social circles there are murmurings of his being in the CIA.

All these attributes aside, there is one word that truly encapsulates my dad and his role in my life: he has been my "rescuer".

When I was 14, I went on a mission to an Egyptian orphanage.  I had been gone for a total of about seven weeks, during which I communicated with family and friends solely by handwritten letters (and crappy postal systems).  It was finally time to go home. My team and I got to Charles de Gaulle airport only to find out that there had been a foiled terrorist attack in England.  This delayed our flight from France to New York by six or more hours. 

The French equivalent of the TSA went through each passenger's carry-ons individually before we could board. I paced nervously, my heart pounding from too many shots of espresso.  There is no way I will make my connecting flight home!
Worrying didn't add a single hour to my day, as it never does, and it did certainly didn't get me to the airport on time. I inevitably missed my connecting flight.  I was a tween stranded at JFK with a bunch of my friends who were about to make their own homecomings that I so longed for.  I found a payphone (866-CALL-ATT!) and called my mom to let her know the news.

"Hello?"  I immediately broke down at the familiar sound of my mother's voice.
"Our plane arrived late and now I've missed my flight and I need a new flight and I just want to be home," I blubbered through my uncontrollable sobs.

I will never forget my mom's calm reply.  "I know.  Dad is on a plane right now coming to get you. He'll be there to meet you in less than an hour."

Frantic tears turned into thankful tears.  I hung up the phone and literally jumped up and down with joy all over the airport.  Dad was coming to my rescue, in a big way.  He found his way to me and I ran to his safe embrace.  We left JFK for Newark and stopped at a diner where I scarfed down bacon and basked in this grand gesture of love. 

My dad has swooped in to "save" me several other instances throughout my life and I am so thankful.  I love you, Pops, and want to thank you for being such a godly example to your children: you have loved me unconditionally and, when I went astray, you always came to find me.  Happy father's day. Ani ohevet otkhah, aba.

No comments:

Post a Comment