June 17, 2009 > Father's Day
By Theresa N. Herrera
My father passed away when I was ten years old leaving behind five children, in which two are girls and three are boys, so Father's Day is always bittersweet. Having two older brothers, I was a Daddy's girl. It was Daddy and I, hanging out. Whatever he liked, I liked, and he loved Chevys, so I loved them too. As soon as I was old enough to understand what tool he needed, I was handing it to him in the garage.
My Dad's influence and teaching helped me come to the realization that, even at six years old, I wanted to work with cars someday. In sharing his passion for cars, he taught me that they aren't just for transportation, but to have fun in making them so much more. That just that! The time we spent together in the garage showed me all the amazing things you can do to them, like make them go faster, change the body components for a different look, and customize the interior to your own taste.
This time together allowed him to pass along life lessons as well. He taught me to always be myself and to be as independent as I can be. I took this to heart, and I am now one of the few women enrolled at the Fremont campus of WyoTech, an automotive technical school that is allowing me to take my passion for the automobile in a new direction - that of a career. The instructors there have their own personal experiences to share, so even though my Dad isn't here to continue what he started, I am learning my trade from those who know it best.
I know my Dad would be very proud of my decision to attend WyoTech and I'd like to think we could be doing our own projects together by now, building anything and everything. And, although he isn't my Dad, for Father's Day I would like to tell my older brother Jacob how much I appreciate the time he has spent with me, teaching me what he knows about cars after our Dad passed away.
It's so easy to forget the importance of spending time together doing simple things like working on a car in the garage, but when that time is taken away like it was with my Dad, you learn to appreciate every moment. Thank you to my brother Jacob, and to our Dad, Johnny Jesus Herrera, we love you and miss you.