Friday, 26 September 2014

I Can't Help

My daughter bought a car yesterday. This is something she has been struggling with for a while; what to buy, where to find it, when to buy it. She wanted her transportation issue settled before going away next week, a trip which will see her out of town for all of October. She didn't want to come back to Calgary having to purchase a car in the midst of a Calgary winter.

She is a smart girl. Her car purchase decision involved research and a clear analysis of her needs and wants. She took into account things like winter driving and maintenance issue, the need for both winter and summer tires, fuel consumption and all the other thoughts that one goes through when making this kind of purchase. And of course, she considered cost.

I knew about her needing a car; we had talked about this a few times. I haven't really been able to give her a lot of advice on this on. She seemed to be struggling with making the purchase commitment and I didn't want to encourage her into something she might regret. On the other hand I knew that she was ready to get this done, ready to have one more thing out of the way before her big trip.

She called me yesterday to ask if she could come over. She was with a friend of mine and she told me they were looking at a car. When she arrived she was very excited to tell me that she had bought her car, a small Korean model with manual transmission, manual windows, no air conditioning - a basic little car. She had asked my friend to come along so she could have a sounding board to help her check out things like the engine, transmission, tires, and general wear and tear.

I am happy that she bought a car, a car she wants and likes. I am sad that I could not help her. I could not help test the manual transmission. I could not help check under the hood. I could not get underneath to look for road damage or weather wear. I could not even get in and out of the car all that easily. In short, I couldn't help her make this decision. Instead she turned to one of my friends for this help; he took her and helped her decide.

This is another thing ALS is taking from me, my viability as a source of help for my children. Both financially and physically I am failing, no longer able to do the things a Dad should do, no longer to offer the kind of support a parent should offer. I am happy she bought a car. I am sad she didn't ask me for help in checking it out. I am even sadder that she new without asking that I couldn't help her.

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