No limit

This is a story I had the minister share at my mom’s memorial service. I haven’t really saved it anywhere other than email, so I’m going to post it here.

Anyone who knew Mom well could tell you that two of her favorite things in life were beach vacations and shopping — and she tried to combine both whenever possible. One year, she, Dad, and Sis, and I were spending the week in Panama City Beach, and the city map showed the location of a shopping center that Mom decided she just had to get to. Dad was in the driver’s seat and Mom was playing navigator — but it’s probably important to note here that Mom often couldn’t read maps that well and didn’t want to — Dad claims that she may have even taken some pride in that fact. But there she was, trying to get to this shopping center, so she was paying extra attention to make sure Dad got us there.

“Keep going straight on this road, then turn onto Limits Drive,” she told him. Dad obeyed, as he knew better than to get in between Mom and her vacation shopping. But we kept driving, and there was no Limits Drive in sight. “Turn around,” she said to Dad. “You must have passed it.” So Dad dutifully turned around and looked more carefully for Limits Drive this time. But still no Limits Drive.

It was time for someone else to take a look at the map, and Mom pointed out Limits Drive on the map to the others. “See? Right here it is,” she pointed. Sure enough, a dotted line was shown on the map, and if only they could find that road, it would take them directly to the shopping center.

“Um, Mom,” I said, probably with an obligatory teenage eye roll. “There’s no such THING as Limits Drive. The dotted line you’re looking at is where the city limits are marked on the map. There’s not actually a road there. We have to get there a different way, on a road that actually exists.”

We all got a good laugh out of it, and it became a frequent family joke that still continues to this day. Mom was always good-natured and took the relentless teasing at her expense. So, Mom, wherever you are, we hope you’ve finally found your Limits Drive — and that the shopping you find there was worth the wait.


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