denise:bugMy first car was a bright yellow Volkswagen Bug. During that time, my young 11 year old niece, Denise, hung out with me, a lot. I give her the credit for us spending time together because she was the one who would call me.

“Hi, Aunt Daphne. Is is okay if I come over to hang out?”

Well, of course it was! She was always a joy to have around. As time went by, as Denise grew older and her life had become busier and busier, I saw her less and less. But, one time, quite a few years ago, she stopped by to visit, just to say “Hey,”and to share a dream she had had, reminding her of the past.

“I had a dream. I dreamt that I bought you a yellow bug, just like the one you used to have. I dropped it off in front of your place and drove away in another car, excited for you to find it.” She went on to explain that there is an actual car for sale that resembles my VW, near her home. Denise wished she could buy me the car.

In my mind, I was thinking Oh, yea, how fun would that be! Out loud, though, I said “I’ll take it,” so casually you’d think I wasn’t serious.

rudy:deniseI was driving my yellow bug when I met Rudy for the first time, and it was the car I drove when Denise, sitting in the passenger seat, met her future uncle. The three of us took a ride to a nearby park, to feed the ducks in an over-sized pond. We sat together near the water’s edge, just talking and laughing. Little did she know that she played a very important role within my and Rudy’s relationship. Not only did I get to observe him interacting with a soon-to-be preteen – a most important observation, for sure, but Denise was also my No way!-No how!-Not now!-I’m not doing IT! way to maintain abstinence.

On our very first date, I drove Rudy and I, plus Denise, my nephew and two more kids to Magic Mountain in the Bug. What a day! Rudy and I locked lips more times than I can remember and my niece would disrupt the moment by “ooooooooo”-ing or screaming “Gross!” She’d laugh afterwards because I’m pretty sure she really did like Rudy. Liked having him around that day.

 As my relationship with Rudy solidified so, too, did Denise’s feelings for him. She has always thought of him as an extremely awesome person. She even sought him out on her wedding day, saved a dance for him, and proudly introduced him as Uncle Rudy. The fact that a dream flowed through her was a reminder of times past. A fun time in a bright yellow Volkswagen Bug, and being introduced to someone having a positive impact on her life.

That yellow bug was part of my early history, when I hung out with Denise, and my developing relationship with Rudy. So should Denise’s dream ever come true, I’d say, “Drop that memory off in front of my place, anytime!”