My first memory is riding in the backseat of our Pathfinder while my dad drove. He was wearing his purple college track jacket that reflected the sunlight coming through the windows. My baby brother had been born, he told me. We were going to see Mommy and my new brother at the hospital.
I also remember being buckled into the front seat of his sports car later that year. It was just the two of us, and he slid the passenger seat as far back as it would go so my car seat wouldn’t put me too close to the air bag. Daddy drove us up and down the mountain while the trees and rock blurred around us. The engine revved when he hit the gas to glide up the hill.
Fourteen years later, my dad went over the contents of the truck’s console before I drove it by myself for the first time the next day. He left some pennies and dimes in change, just in case I ever needed them. He left the gold medallion representing the patron saint of travel. He had kept it in his car since he started driving. This time, he thought I might need it. I touched the dingy gold where it rested in the console, then closed the cover.
This past week, I bought my first car. Daddy went over all the details with me and made sure everything was signed in my name. Then it was time to transfer my belongings from the family truck to my new crossover. I left the patron saint in the truck, but I transferred the angel charm I had bought after I called him in a panic one night when I made a wrong turn. I was going to leave the change, too, but my dad scooped up the pennies and left them on my bed that night. I dropped the change in the bottom of my new console so I could carry a little bit of my dad’s provision with me every day.