It reminds me of a favorite road trip with my daughter, who was sixteen at the time. My son, Jim, was going to graduate basic training. Cliff hates road trips and preferred to stay home and go to work. I don't drive. So guess who was elected as driver to Fort Benning, Georgia?
Our daughter, Rachel. She'd had her driver's license for two or three months, and she drove all the way to Columbus, Georgia. We went as far as Nashville and got a motel, then went the rest of the way.
It was an unforgettable time. I don't even seem to have any pictures of the whole thing! It never really hit me how young most soldiers are until I saw those kids marching in front of us.
And then we had to head home. We left early in the morning, with me telling Rachel, "Any time you get tired and can't go on, just stop at a motel and we will carry on in the morning."
At some point in the bowels of the night, in the middle of Illinois, my daughter was switching stations (must be genetic with my kids) and settled on a station when she heard Lionel Ritchie singing, "Say You, Say Me".
I know she was just trying to stay awake, but she started singing along and then said, "Come on, Mom, sing it with me."
I didn't know the song, but I did my best.
We eventually got to St. Louis. Rachel was obviously worn out and sleepy, and I suggested that we stop for the night.
"Oh no, we're in Missouri now," she said. "I'm going home. I think I can make it."
We did, in spite of a deer jumping in our path at Higginsville.
And that's the night a song I would have normally never listened to became one of my top ten favorites. When I'm dead, you can listen to it in my memory.