Potholes

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July 29, 2014 by genelup

When I was young, I never noticed the potholes in front of my house.  My parents did, and they complained about them a lot.  I rode my bicycle, push-scooter and skateboard up and down the street and never hit one.  We lived on dead-end street that was only four blocks long.  Hardly any traffic at all.  We kids played touch football on the street, kicked a soccer ball and we raced each others in 50-yard dashes on that street.

When I drove home from my junior prom I hit a pothole in front of my house.  It was the first time I noticed one.  I took a very cute girl to the prom but she spent most of her time dancing with other guys.  She was quiet when I drove her home, and I knew it would be our first, and last, date.  That pothole was there for months until the road crew came by and patched it up.

I moved from that street for a few years – attending college, serving in the army and landing a job in the big city.  At 29, I moved back to my parents’ street with my new bride.  We bought a house about a block away from mom and dad.  In those early days before our children were born, our street in front of us was smooth, no potholes at all.  However, I noticed more and more potholes popping up in front of my parents’ house.  They were there when my dad became sick and later when my parents divorced and my dad moved away.  When I visited mom the potholes by her driveway bothered me.

In time, potholes began appearing in front of our house too.  That’s when our children entered junior high.  It was expensive to feed and clothe them and pay for the various activities they participated in.  Late at night, while everyone was asleep, I sat at the kitchen table thinking if I should get a second job.  The bills piled up in front of me.  Other potholes became evident when police brought home my son for committing petty theft, when my three kids needed braces, and when my daughter got into a fight with another girl and got her nose broken.  Probably the biggest pothole appeared during this time when I was laid off from my job.

Eventually, the road crew would come by and the holes one-by-one disappeared.  The day I drove my wife home from the doctor’s office I hit what seemed like a huge canyon.  He told my wife she had breast cancer.  My wife’s disease went into remission, and the road crew came and filled the hole.

Years went by, and I lie in bed.  I look out the window and I see the road crew looking at the largest pothole I’ve ever seen in my life.  They shook their heads, and drove away leaving the hole behind.  My children and grand and great-grand children came to visit.  My wife held my hand day and night.  And when she was out of the room and I was alone I cried.  One day my pastor visited me and we talked alone for a long time. I prayed, he prayed and I knew beyond a shadow of doubt I was ready for that final walk.  I wasn’t afraid.  I noticed after a few days I didn’t cry any more.

Then one night when I was extremely tired and sleepy, family members, neighbors and close friends came to see me.  Not all at once, but they would come in one or two at a time, stay a few minutes and then leave.  Someone else would show up by my bedside.  My wife kept holding my hand.

Since my bed was next to the window and dusk was falling, I looked out at my street for the last time. No potholes at all.  The road crew had just come that day and paved the street just in front of my house, and only my house.  I thought that was strange.

I closed my eyes — and I started to rise from my bed.  I was drifting up.  I heard sobbing, and then my wife’s hand slipped from my hand.  I don’t know if my eyes were open or not, but everything was dark for awhile and then some light filtered in.  As I continued to drift things became brighter.  An image appeared in the distance and I floated toward it.  A gold street!  My new street!  The surface shined and glimmered — no holes at all.

 

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