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Perspective: A thank-you that is decades overdue

Ian Anderson

The summer I was 18, I should have died. I was heading into town around 4 a.m. I lived in the middle of nowhere, Florida, and had to drive on country roads. I came to the T-intersection where I would turn left. The light had been green for several seconds.

I’m not a morning person. But tired or not, I remembered to look right and then left. Dad had always emphasized defensive driving. When I think about it now, I’m surprised Dad was the driving instructor in our family. Because of debilitating mental health issues, he hadn’t worked in years.

That summer morning, as I looked before proceeding, a semi-truck ran the red light, going well over the speed limit. If I had turned left at the green light, it all would have been over. Shaken, I sat there a few seconds in grateful disbelief before heading to work.

I didn’t tell my Dad what happened. Other than baseball, we didn’t have a lot of topics in common. I also didn’t want him to worry — some days, it was just enough for him to get through the day.

Looking back, I wish I had thanked him for saving my life. He’s been gone 25 years now. And now I realize that he did the best he could. If the past couple of years have taught me anything, it’s that we’ve all done the best we could. So now it’s time to say it: “Thank you, Dad.”

I’m Lori Drummond-Cherniwchan and that’s my Perspective.

Lori Drummond-Cherniwchan is a teacher-librarian at Auburn High School in Rockford.