Flashback Friday – Nice Ride, Brother!

6 01 2012

It was 1970-something. Back row: Dave, Debbie Ross, Stephanie Beller, Marla St. Clair; Front Row: Jeff Hanson, Susannah Ross, me.

The car belonged to my friend and youth-group leader, Dave Finnegan. From the first night we met, at a Tuesday night Inter-Church Youth (ICY) meeting, I thought he was awesome. Gentle of spirit, kind, and incredibly smart. Not a bad volleyball player. Or too shabby with that guitar.

In the ensuing 35 or so years since we met, Dave has been an important influence on my life AND a member of my family – he and my sister Chris were married a couple of years after this photo. They raised two amazing sons, my nephews Ben and Tim, together. And they have weathered more than their share of serious illness – Dave faced several bouts of cancer, culminating in a Stage IV diagnosis and a grueling experimental treatment program at M.D. Anderson in Houston (he has been cancer free since then, approximately twenty years). My sister, Chris, will have surgery on Tuesday for her second round with breast cancer.

What I want to say about Dave in this Flashback is that I couldn’t have chosen anyone better for my sister’s life companion. You know how it is with in-laws: they marry into a family like ours (big, loud, opinionated) and can spend years figuring out how not to be chewed up and spit out. Dave maintains his calm, faithful and principled presence – occasionally making us groan at his terrible puns. In the coming weeks, he will be the gentle rock upon which my sister will lean – and by virtue of his presence where we can’t be, we will all lean on him to an extent (poor guy). After more than three decades, I can  say with complete trust that he’s up to the task. I thank God, and my brother Dave, for that!

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7 responses

6 01 2012
chrisinnm

What a lovely reflection, Jen! And what an amazing picture! Did I take it?!

6 01 2012
jenion

It was an awesome car, and we had a lot of fun with it. I’m sorry Chris, no recollection of the event but I wondered the same thing -if you were the photographer. It makes sense when you consider who is in the picture and who isn’t 🙂

6 01 2012
Elsa

Pops shoulda kept that car. Whoa!

6 01 2012
chrisinnm

Elsa- you never had to get out of the car at McDonalds and back push it back into the parking place because its transmission was shot… But it WAS a fun car!

6 01 2012
Tammy

Loved this post, Jen! It brought tears to my eyes. Praying for you and your family. You are very lucky to have such a close family.

Tammy

7 01 2012
Randy Greenwald

As to the car, I think you could also see the road through the floorboards. But it makes an awesome picture. And, true to form, Dave is in a context where females way outnumber males. He was good at that.

7 01 2012
chrisinnm

LOL, Randy! He didn’t manage it with his own family, which was heavily male, but now the girls are WAY outnumbering the boys again… and even more so once Miss Ada arrives on the scene. He is awfully good with the ladies of all ages! 🙂

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