Today is his birthday...which all by itself would warrant a post about how amazing he is, and about how much I love him. He is amazing...the best dad anyone could ever ask for...and I do love him, more than I can really say.
I could share pages on all that he has taught me...from how to swing a baseball bat or throw a punch, to how to see more than one side to every story, and more than one way to skin a cat.
But lately I've been thinking about how he has taught me to be positive, and strong, and to trust myself that I can handle just about anything.
5 days ago my dad had brain surgery....9 days from now he will have another brain surgery. Tonight we sat around a restaurant table and giggled as a family.
A few years ago my dad was diagnosed with Parkinsons Disease. As an FYI, Parkinsons pretty much sucks. My Dad however doesn't complain. He's a do-er...he is a suck it up and do what needs to be done guy. He still works harder than anyone his age...he still works on the boat, puts in hours on end in rough weather...all of that crazy shit that he's done his whole life. He just gets up a little bit earlier to get ready now because Parkinsons makes moving around harder than it used to be. He still hunts for fun and manages to steady himself and maintain a pretty good aim for a guy that shakes pretty much all of the time.
We've all gotten used to the shaking, accepted the diagnosis...followed his brave lead into "not going to let it get me down" mode. But as I mentioned...Parkinsons still sucks.
So last year, when my Dad had a chance encounter, in a most unlikely place with someone he could relate to that was just a couple of weeks pre-surgery to treat Parkinsons symptoms...he was intrigued. When he saw this person again post-surgery, he was inspired.
Pretty quickly we were all heading down this surgery road. It has been lots of appointments and testing and on and on, but now almost 6 months later the surgery date was finally here last week.
It was more scared than I care to admit...but it went remarkably well. As per usual, my dad just did what needed to be done...his attitude has been a mix of optimism, resignation and faith... and he is doing so well, I wouldn't believe it if I wasn't seeing it with my own eyes.
Tonight we were talking about how even though the surgery isn't complete yet, that something has changed. I don't know if it is physical or if it is something else. The thing is, I could feel it not just in him, but all the way around the table, so I think it is more than physical. None of us want to think about it too much, because we still have to do this thing again in 9 days (not that I'm counting). Somehow though, I feel like it is quite possibly better than any birthday present we could wrap up...I think it might just be hope...and that is a pretty beautiful thing.
Happy Birthday Dad....I love you more than you could ever know. But no matter how much I love you, I will continue to be the hard ass when it comes to what you are allowed to do while you recover! Sorry...you taught me way to well on that one too!