Having spent the last several years disassembling my father’s shop, and remembering him working in his as a child, I can’t tell you how many times I wish I could still walk into his on a daily basis.
I long to see him working on a car, old school country music in the background, the smell of grease, a friend helping him, and all the tools in an orderly fashion, around the shop. (Ok, maybe a few swear words, or loud yelling, here and there, as he wrestled with an uncooperative part also).
When I went to his garage five years ago, it was a mess. Evidence of his struggles for the last many years, as he was always meticulous in his care for all his possessions, but most especially his tools and his shop. The chaos I found was beyond my comprehension. It saddened me that I hadn’t known what he was going through for so many years, and he lived so far away. I saw his struggles in everything in his shop. I can’t explain it, but that’s when everything he was dealing with really hit me. It was so obvious to me.
I guess I'm posting this here because I think you would understand. Don’t get me wrong, I’m very happy that my father is no longer suffering, but a huge part of me is lost without him. I will never see him again. I will never see him working on a car or lovingly detailing one.
So many years passed between the time I moved away and when I went to help him, but suddenly, when I went to Texas, I was his little girl again.
My father and his cars were one in the same. I’m sure many of you are like that also. Don’t ever underestimate what that means to the children you raised. It’s an indelible memory to picture your father in his shop.
If you have children, grown or otherwise, please spend time in your shop with them. It is very likely that they will cling to those memories when you are gone.