“What if,” my Dad would begin, “before you were born, God gave you a mission to fulfill during your time on Earth. Let’s say you loved the idea and immediately depart heaven to begin”. His old truck came to a stop at a red light and he glanced toward me.
We attended our neighborhood Presbyterian church every Sunday, but I found church boring and was known for daydreaming during the sermons. Still, I was pretty sure I knew what he was talking about. “My purpose?” I asked.
“That’s right, Sweet Girl. Now let’s say as soon as you left heaven for Mommy’s belly, God asked for a volunteer to help you achieve your mission. But there’s a catch — in order to help you, they must become your greatest enemy during this lifetime.” He paused a moment for me to process what he said before continuing. “Then, your very best friend in Heaven laughed and said, ‘I’ll do it’, thinking you two could laugh about it all afterward back in Heaven.”
“Woah,” I whispered wide-eyed. I thought about the kids at school who teased me. I tried to imagine them as my best friend. As someone, I could laugh with if I’d only known it was all a game. That they pick on me to help me achieve my purpose and I just didn’t remember.
Next, it was my turn to come up with an idea. I told him, “Maybe, we get to choose the kind of life we live as if it were a movie. Maybe a life of horror, or romance, or adventure.”
These car rides are unrivaled moments where Dad and I wondered about the curiosities of life — the impossibly possible. No idea was stupid, no thought too extreme or unrealistic. The cabin of his truck was a gateway for free thought and creativity.
Our conversations carried on into adulthood, and though the topics expanded, the results never changed.
Last week, after spending the day at the small airport where his business resides, we were driving along the Willamette River and I told him how trees communicate with each other and share sugars and glucose to keep each other strong and healthy.
He talked to me about a woman who had her brainwaves recorded while she meditated. She got herself into such a state a doctor thought she was having a stroke, but one look at the woman and you could see she wasn’t. “She was in pure ecstasy.” He told me, “Where nothing hurts, and she came out of it saying she felt surrounded by love while in those states.” Together we dreamed of the impossible.
Now, the impossible has happened, but not in the way we’d hoped. December 15th, 2020 was our last car ride together. Instead of words of inspiration, Dad was vomiting and wincing in pain with every bump the tires hit while I drove him to the hospital.
He passed away twelve hours later. Cancer.
During my drive home, alone, I thought about all the impossibly possible ideas we had. I guess he gets to know the truth now.
He always had a flair for adventure and his love for my mom is unmatched. Perhaps he got to choose two genres for life. Maybe my greatest teacher isn’t my enemy but my Dad. Possibly he is surrounded by pure ecstasy now, swimming in vibrations of pure love, where nothing hurts.
I’d hope he visits my dreams to let me know, but I suspect he won’t because he knows my love for surprises. Anyway, I imagine he’s a bit busy flying, exploring, and finding all the impossibly possible things so when it’s my time he can meet me and say, “come along Sweet Girl, let me show you the impossible.”