Dumb Ass Mistake Number (?) and still counting......

As I stated previously, my oldest daughter and my granddaughter have moved home. You know the story. Bad relationship gone bad. She needed to pull back and get the proverbial shit together. We have been telling her for months that the door was open. I know that this has been a stressful decision for her.
She has had a run of bad luck. Moved into a bigger place. Took a new job (off the books) at the insistence of her boyfriend; who then proceeded to leave her. After she paid her bills, she had less than ten dollars left and a little one to care for. Also, she bought a 1996 Neon last spring with her income tax refund only to have the head gasket go and make it non drivable within a few days. She has been without a car since. Because she bought it from a dude in New Hampshire, there was no lemon law to protect her. She had it fixed and made payments until it was paid ($1300 on top of the $1500 she paid for the car) so that she could take it home. Once home, it would not run. I checked the computer codes and found that it needs an EGR valve and a sensor unit. So, it has set in my drive for the summer because of the lack of $$ to fix it. The mechanic who fixed the head gasket says that the EGR failed because it had sat so long. (in other words, if she had paid her repair bill sooner, the car may have been okay. I don't think so) So, she has given away or sold (mostly given away) her accumulated items. She and her sister and daughter have managed to squeeze into a 12 x 14 room with the bulk of her leftovers going into our basement.
This is the Dumb Ass Part.....
I labored to load her stack able washer/dryer into my pick up and with the help of several bungee chords I strapped them in. We packed other stuff destined for inside the house all around it. Once home, we unpacked the stuff and I drove around the back of the house to unload the center and the washer/dryer into the basement.
I pulled out into the road so that I could pull around and into my back yard when....the bungee chord unit slid off the back of the truck and smashed into the road. I forgot to close the tailgate. The entertainment center broke into many pieces in the middle of the road with the stack able unit landing on top. All in all, you would have thought that I was speeding for all the damage that was done.
My daughter loved these two pristine pieces for their lack of scratches or dents and proceeded to throw up after watching the slow motion action of the three units falling out as one.
I drove the truck quickly to the side and watched the many cars swerve around me and my pile of junk. No one would stop to help. They just slowed down enough to avoid hitting anything. My son, upon hearing the commotion and the crash of the prized possessions, just walked in front of the cars daring them to hit him. By now it seemed, the rush hour was on. Coming both ways.
One elderly gentleman stopped to assist us and helped me upright the washer/dryer and make it to the side of the road while dodging all the frantic traffic. Not sure if he recognized me or not. I have a rather uncanny ability to never forget a face. I recognized him as a "Past Master" from the Fraternity of Masons. I've only seen him at one lodge meeting before. I have no idea how long ago that he was a Worshipful Master of my local lodge. He asked if he could be of any more assistance. After thanking him profusely, I could hardly look at my daughter for at least an hour.
Of course she blamed herself and told me to not feel bad. Isn't that awful?
It turns out that my home owners insurance will cover their replacement. That is, of course great. But I felt lame. I so want her to feel better. To feel safe. Not to loose what little she has due to a dumb mistake made by her unfocused father.
Dads and their little girls!
You never want to feel like you let them down. That you weren't there for them. That you failed or showed weakness in any way.
She has seen more and more of that from me these past few years.
I resolve to try harder in the future. To be there and be strong and wise and fatherly.
And that I will do.


Jess said…
it sounds like i can relate to your daughter's life a bit.

when i was young, my car needed new brakes and my dad was helping me save money by doing them himself. he broke one of my rotors right in half while he was taking them off so they could be turned. he felt terrible...and i had to buy a new rotor. he insisted on paying for it.

have checked into a freecycle group in your area? there's one here where people give away GREAT free stuff all of the time. sounds like your daughter could benefit from it. check out yahoo groups, search on "freecycle massachusetts" i looked and there are about 78 groups there... find one that's active.

good luck.
Tim said…
Jess...synchronicity baby!!! I was just reading about freecycle today and planned to join soon. Cool!
Loralee Choate said…
Tim, you are a great dad. I have a very complicated relationship with my dad. he goes out of his way to give all the kids the help and things we need and yet every single one of us feels that "Things" are more important to him than we are.

That isn't you and you're amazing.
Michelle said…
my dad is of the "suck it up girl, shit happens!" mentality (as you might have guessed by now)but he'll still help if i ask him-but i don't (of course).

it's nice that you're trying to make the best of a bad situation and that you all know you're there for each other!