Sunday, November 17, 2013
I am my father's daughter. I am grateful for him today and everyday. He is 77 today. He is in Africa, in Nairobi, Kenya on a mission for our church. He and my mom bring wells of fresh water to villages, give wheelchairs to those in need, and do other humanitarian efforts there.
My dad is one of the biggest hearted people I know. He loves people and will do anything he can to help a friend. He has been a rock for me throughout my life and I have called him for help in the middle of the night or at 4 am or whenever I have really needed him. He has always come to my aid. I will share a couple of those stories for your entertainment.
One day when Jon and I were dating, my car got towed. I was living in D.C. and parked out in front of my house while we went to grab Jon's luggage and take him to their airport to go back home to L.A. In the time we went into the house my car was towed. I hadn't realized we were in a no parking time right then. So I hailed a cab for Jon and the next morning before work my roommate took me to the impound lot to get my car.
Now I didn't live in a nice part of D.C. In fact, one cabbie who took me home said, "You don't actually live here do you?" When I said I did he said, "Lady, you gotta move! This is not a good place." I told him it was not that bad to which he replied, "No it is. I got shot a block from here. You gotta move."
Well as bad as my area was, the impound lot was WAY worse. It was in one of the areas I was scared to go to and trust me when I say not much scared me back then. So my roommate dropped me off and headed to work and I walked into the impound office in my business suit and heels feeling very out of place and asked for my car.
That's when they lady told me I couldn't get my car out because it was registered in my dad's name. I tried to see if there was any way she could call my dad and he could let me get the car. No deal. She said I would have to have him go get a notarized statement and have it sent to the impound to get the car.
I was beside myself. I was stranded and scared. This was not an area where cabs drove by regularly. I walked out of the office and saw a pay phone. Luckily, while I didn't have a cell phone back then, my parents had a 1-800 number we could use to call in case of an emergency. I used it.
It was between 7:00-8:00 a.m. in D.C. that means between 3:00 and 4:00 a.m. Las Vegas time. I didn't even think about that as I dialed the number. I woke my dad up of course. I was crying. I explained my situation. I don't know what I thought he would be able to do from his bed 3000 miles away but that didn't even give me pause. My dad just always was able to help me when I was in trouble and so calling him was instinct.
He told me to put the impound lady on the phone. Well, she was in the office and I was out on the street, so I couldn't do that. I told him that she wasn't going to budge. I had already done my best to persuade her. He told me to wait 5 minutes and call him back. He was going to call her.
So I hung up. 5 minutes later I called back. He told me to go in the office. She would ask to see my ID and give me the car. Miracle right? No that is just my dad. Apparently, my mom's name, Ann Harris, was also on the registration and my name is Stephanie Ann Harris. He told the lady I was on the registration but that he had used my middle name on the registration not my first. I was never more grateful to be named after my mother.
So I showed my ID and she showed me my car. I got in to find out the lights had been left on and the battery was dead. I had jumper cables but no one to give me a jump. The lady said she couldn't help me with that. So I went back to the street with my jumper cables to try and find a good Samaritan in the hood. I thought I had it made when a police car came by. I ran up to him and asked for his help. He told me he wouldn't give me a jump and that I really shouldn't be in that neighborhood. Thanks copper. Thanks. And he drove off.
After about 15 minutes doing all I could to get someone to stop, short of hiking up my skirt, the lady from the office finally came out and took pity on me and told me that although it was against policy, she would use one of the impound cars to give me jump. I have no doubt this change of heart was prompted by my father's phone call and the way he connected with her the way he did and does will all people. I finally got out of there. Thanks be to my father.
A second story: my scariest experience ever.
One night when I was a very young child I turned my light off and took my customary two giant steps toward my bed and jumped up onto it. I had an antique iron bed that was almost a foot off the ground with nothing underneath and covers that came to just inches from the floor. I was always scared something would be hiding under there to get me since that was a place I often hid.
So I would jump onto my bed from as far away as possible each night. As I laid there trying to fall asleep, I felt my bed move. I froze in fright. Being the completely logical reasonable girl I was, I started to come up with how my bed could move on its own that were NOT my fear of a monster being under there.
Maybe the wind did it. No the window was closed. Maybe I had moved and didn't realize it. Hmmm. Maybe? So I laid perfectly still, frozen in place and waited. And the bed DEFINITELY moved again. At this point, I screamed, "DAAAAAADDDD!!!!" My dad was half asleep as he came to my room, turned on the light and asked me what was wrong.
"Something's under my bed!" I told him. At this point he signed an exhausted sign and said, "Stephanie, there is nothing under your bed. Look under your bed and see so we can all go back to bed."
"Nu uh! No way! There is SOMETHING under my bed!!!"
He tried again to persuade me to look under my bed so I could see my fears were unfounded and we could go to bed. I would not. No way. "YOU look under my bed!" I said. Seeing I was firm in my decision, he said, "Fine. If I come look under your bed will you then look and see there is nothing there so we can go to bed?"
I considered this. After a few moments I consented. So my dad walked over to my bed and while lifting the bed spread so he could look under my bed and slowly bending down he kept his eyes on me. He had a little half grin on his face and twinkle in his eye as he teasingly said to me, "I'm looking under your bed. I'm looking under your bed..."
At this point the something under my bed reached out and grabbed my dad's ankle.
In one fail swoop and with a startled yelp, my dad was OUT of my room and in the hall. And I was left alone with the thing under my bed!
Then I heard my older sister Lesli laughing... from under my bed. She got us both... good. I learned that it is good to face your fears. They are most likely not as scary as you think.
Hope you enjoyed those two stories. I love my dad and I am grateful for him.