Although not the longest day of the year, that summer’s eve in Colorado Springs of 1975 seemed to last a lifetime. Carole King’s “You’ve Got a Friend” spun on the AM radio in my friend Paul’s turquoise-blue Karmann Ghia. Eager to show off the fresh $89.99 special Earl Schrieb paint job on his self-refurbished car, he drove me around town. Their guarantee, “Bring your car in by 7 and we’ll have it out by 9 the same day, held true.” We learned to tape the trim and roll the windows up, or they’d paint your car’s inside as they covered minor dents, gravel and dirt.
“When you’re down and troubled, and you need a helping hand…” I proudly sang the words out loud, feeling accomplished to have memorized the song.
Even though Dad didn’t allow me to date, Mom liked Paul. Paul resembled Jim Croce, Italian ringlets and green hopeful eyes. Paul would let Mom join us -- be it dinner, a movie, or both. One night, we watched the “Poseidon Adventure” -- all three of us -- with Mom sitting in the middle.
That night, Paul and I finished a juicy steak dinner at “Three Thieves.” The flickering candlelight from our red glass table lantern illuminated our shadows on the dark wood panelled walls. The pumpernickel smelled like New York, familiar and complex. I sighed, out of Mom’s control and appeased to taste filet and freedom. And I’d be home before Dad, no harm.
As dusk colored the sky, Paul pulled up to the grey iron gate of the chain link fence surrounding our home, the green Sears and Roebuck sign prominently displayed.
I remembered earlier that Spring, Dad yanking on the poles of his new fence with pride, “The guys did a good job installing this.” I knew how hard it had been for Dad to spend money, an...
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...copter pilots found him, he bled to death.”
Throat slashed, helicopters, what was Mom talking about? A dizzying hum persevered, drowning the words coming out of her mouth. The room spun right and left. The dusty brown carpet felt slippery underneath my feet, throwing me off balance. A flash of heat radiated upward through my body, followed by a cold sweat. I held my mouth shut to keep from getting sick, for fear of what the strangers would think.
They mutilated Dad and stole his life. An intense malaise clouded over me -- on that day my life changed forever.
I had always questioned G-d’s existence; now I was convinced. There was no G-d!
My cousin had once explained, “we don’t write G-d 's name in a place where it may be discarded or erased. Treating G-d 's name with reverence is a way to give respect to G-d.” I’ve kept that habit since.
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