Lost and Found


The last weekend of long was filled with anticipation for me.  I was off to visit my elderly father in Phoenix, Arizona.  I use the term elderly in a loose manner as he doesn’t look elderly to me, nor does he behave as such.  A boy’s brain in an aging body it seems.  I thank God for that.

I met my sisters at the airport and immediately our togetherness could have become a pilot for an unscripted reality show.  Even at the airport, we got lost before finding each other.  From there it went downhill whenever our sub-compact rental car opened it’s doors to us.  Contorted in every-which-way, we felt caged in small can of tin on wheels of four.  Minus an opener.

My youngest sister was the designated driver.  It was only after we made a wrong turn coming out of the airport that I realized she needed glasses for distance.  She couldn’t read a single sign.  “Kim,” she playfully squawked at me, “I’m a great driver when I know where I’m going!”  “Kellie, you don’t know where you’re going because we’re in Phoenix, not Dallas!”  “Yes, but I’m really good when I use your eyes!”  Seriously?  Seriously??!  “That’s fine,” I responded, “but my eyes are not behind the wheel!”

What should have been a 45 minute drive to my father’s house ended up taking two and a half hours.  My GPS helped to re-route us while my younger sister’s did the same from the back of our seats.  Every few seconds or minutes voices were heard guiding us.  “Make a U-turn, proceed to ramp,” or “Merge on to I-10.”  Again and again and again.  Have you ever tried listening to two voices at the same time?  It was very confusing.  Even more so because one of them had a British accent.  No luck in turning it off.  I tried.  Several times.  The British accent was along for the ride!

Finally we called my father.  Five or six times….At least.  I can’t imagine what he was thinking.  It was nearly 11:30 pm.  He had been waiting for our arrival since 9:00.  Like any father, he was worried and scared, wondering what could have happened to his three daughters.

Guiding us into a parking lot of a nearby restaurant, San Tan Flats, his voice crackled in disbelief through the speaker of an I-phone.  “Oh you girls, do you see the stuffed bear to the left?  Turn right.  Drive until you see a For Sale sign at the end of the parking lot.”  We did before somehow ending up at the restaurant’s hulking emerald-green dumpster.  Our bright lights caught a raccoon scampering off in the distance of the desert darkness.

“Dad, what do we do now?” my sister asked, in panic.  I could tell my dad couldn’t believe his ears.  “Back up, back up, turn around and follow the smoke from the campfire.  Go out the nearest drive to the first road.  I’ll stay on the line.”

Bless my father’s heart.  He did stay on the line, hearing a big thud as we drove over a Saguaro that had fallen during a recent storm.  Car lights, bright from our rental car soon shined on the best of him.  Standing in the middle of the dusty desert road he stood wearing baggy jeans and a loose yellow shirt.  On his feet were tennis shoes, glowing in fluorescent white.  His legs were balanced straight, even and wide apart.   His arms of two lifted high towards a clear endless sky with hands swaying back and forth in a frenzy as if to yell, “STOP!  Turn off the engine now, before it’s too late!”

In spite of our trials of lost and found my father together with all of his children had the very best time.  Rare because the five of us were all together with him.  During the weekend we went to the American Legion where he sang Karaoke and danced the night away with his girlfriend.  Yes, she is so kind and they are happy!

My sisters and I woke in early mornings to share coffee under quiet, peaceful canopies of leftover stars.  We walked at dawn to discover horses who neighed, mongrels who barked and flowers that bloomed “Hello” from nothing more than dry cinnamon dust of a desert crust.

Then the inevitable happened.  Such sweet sorrow to say, “Good-by.”  A whisper in my ear from my father. Choking up he said, “Your mother would love to see all of you kids together like this.”  Hugging him tight, I whispered back, “She does, Dad.”

That’s what life is all about.  Love and bonding.  Togetherness.  No matter how far apart, get together again.  Create new memories.  Laughter.  Even the mini-trips of lost and found with my sisters will forever be with me.  I dare say one of my ribs might be broken from laughing so hard.  No matter.  All was worth it.

From every second in the desert dark to each minute of my father’s mark…..All above is in my heart forever.

45 thoughts on “Lost and Found

    • We’ve had fun times Sally, and made memories to be sure. But, this was a once in a lifetime ‘script’ that no one could have written! Four days of impromtu gatherings full of surprises and laughter. Always surrounded by love in the air. Thank you so for reading and Reblogging. Bless you, always. Kim

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  1. Enjoyed the lost-and-found joy ride with you three girls in a car, that read like Jerome K Jerome’s Three Men In A Boat, in distant similarity. Loved the pics, your beautiful togetherness and the happiness of a proud father…love you all…

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    • Oh, Raj, if you could have been a fly on the ceiling. Truly, no one would have believed the ‘joy’ride! The next evening, our father practiced his Karaoke song, “My Way” in the back of the American Legion hall for several minutes before his debut. He wanted to sound perfect for ‘his’ girls. Priceless! Bless you, Raj, with extra love to your precious baby grand-son. XXOO

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  2. A really well-written piece, grabbed my attention right away. Who can resist “A boy’s brain in an aging body it seems” or “Even at the airport, we got lost before finding each other. From there it went downhill” and “My youngest sister was the designated driver. It was only after we made a wrong turn coming out of the airport that I realized she needed glasses for distance” and on and on. Really nicely done!!!

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    • Thank you, Jane. Smiling because I wasn’t quite sure where this ‘voice’ inside of me came to write this post. I only know that being with my sisters from the second we got together was a total comedy of errors. So pleased you enjoyed it. Whew….Thank you for being here! Big smiles to you. 🙂 🙂

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  3. Oh my goodness! I can picture the car scene only too well. I get lost all the time and yet I am our designated navigator. I’m surprised some of these efforts haven’t ended in divorce! Sounds like a wonderful time. I had my aunt visit from Western Australia last Monday and Mum came over with her so we had a lovely day together and then the kids joined in after school. Isn’t it such a shame though that we all seem to live so spread out and these moments are so rare! xx Rowena

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    • Oh, your time with your mother, aunt and the kids must have been so special. Memories of such importance. It seems my family always gets together on a whim. Difficult to coordinated all of our schedules. We always make up for lost time in some way or another! Thanks for reading and commenting. Much gratitude! 🙂

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  4. You had me smiling and chuckling on your journey and then filled with tears at the end.. Yes your Mom is with you all, and I bet she was in the car too 🙂 LOL.. Love and Blessings, so glad you all got together. xxx Love and Hugs Sue xxx

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  5. Beautiful enjoyable post Kim, lovely to see pictures of three daughters enjoying valued time with their beloved father, very obvious that your family has a special bond.
    Great to see your Father still has the agility of his youth, and is enjoying life.
    Thanks for that beautiful insight into part of your family life.
    Best wishes for a great weekend.

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    • We are lucky to have him as our central core, Emu. I came across the video of him singing “My Way” this morning. Tears in my eyes. Priceless memories. A special thanks for reading, Emu. You are always loyal to me. Such kindness to my heart is invaluable. Thank you.

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    • Phoenix has a special beauty, different every time I see it. I could easily be a desert girl, too, although my two Texas sisters are pulling me further south. Thank you for your sweet comments, D.G. and for taking the time to read my post. So appreciated. 🙂

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  6. It would have been a hoot to be listening in on that trip from the airport. I was talking to someone yesterday about the GPS in our car and how it had taken us around the long way. “It’s fine,” I said, “the lady on the GPS is Irish, she doesn’t come from around here.” 🙂 Good to see you’re having a great time with your Dad.

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  7. What a great trip!! I am so happy you and sisters didn’t have to go through any accidents or bad traffic. You had enough “obstacles!”
    Your father definitely looks young and happy! Age is just a state of mind. Your sisters and you are so beautiful, Kim. I enjoyed dropping I’m and thank you for sharing your lovely family. Smiles, Robin

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    • Oh, great big smiles back to you! It’s ironic to look back on the trip now, Robin. The unexpected ‘joy ride’ to my father’s house made everything even more memorable. I’d never trade it for anything! Surely never to happen again. Just lucky, I guess. Thank you for your thoughtfulness. So sweet you are! 😊

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