one last ride

By: ewhite422

Jul 16 2010

Category: Uncategorized

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My father-in-law gave everyone a terrible scare before he entered the nursing home.

He had always loved to drive.  Back in the 1960s he drove the family everywhere on vacations, exploring country roads off the “beaten path.”  So when he took off for one last drive, we had no idea where he was going.  Maybe he didn’t either.

He had been a proud man, an architect, who worked on the Rice Stadium project back in the day.  He wore Brooks Brothers suits, always dressed to the “nines.”

But skin cancer had taken a terrible toll on Symond “Buddy” Doughtie.  His head was covered with oozing sores and there was a gaping hole where his nose used to be.  His wife usually covered it with a bandage, but the day he took off, he left the bandage behind. 

So, you can imagine the shock of the convenience store attendant when Buddy walked into the store just a few miles down highway 121, looking as though he had come from the grave.  The attendant called 911.

And that’s how we got him back.

My husband and I went to see his father a few days later.  Sitting at the kitchen table, I leaned over to Buddy, while my husband and his stepmom talked.  “I hear you escaped!”  I whispered.

You should have seen his eyes light up.  He started to laugh.

And that’s when his wife, Betty, scolded us, “That is NOT funny!”

But Buddy and I looked at each other, and we both knew that he would be relishing that escape until he died.  That was the last time I ever saw him laugh.


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