My dad had planned hip replacement surgery today. It's been a long time coming, let me tell you. It was originally scheduled for late 2010 but he had other health complications at the time that made the surgery impossible. The surgery was rescheduled for 2011, but then my mom had a serious health issue that had to be addressed first. So, finally, today was the day.
Dad, in true dad fashion, was ready to go. He'd done his part; kept his weight down, exercised as much as he could, continued on with life even though he really was in dreadful pain. They were here in Florida until early April doing their best to enjoy their retirement in the sun but, of course, always with this pain in the background.
Anyway, even though this is a very common procedure now a days, it's still unnerving and scary when someone you love goes under the knife. For me in particular, having lost my step-mother last year and just recently my father-in-law, I was pretty skittish today. I prayed; I asked my church to pray also, and I felt a lot better but still and again, I wasn't totally relaxed until my brother sent me a message just before 2:00 that dad was out of surgery, he'd done great and there were no complications.
While sitting here earlier today thinking about my dad; thinking about everything over the past almost 45 years, I wrote this little piece.
Love you, dad.
Made me crowns from chewing gum wrappers
Took me on bike rides with me sitting behind him holding on for dear life
Liked to listen to me read out loud from my Laura Ingalls Wilder books
Helped me with my stamp collection
Carried me everywhere for three weeks when I had a case of trench foot
Taught me how to keep score at San Diego Padre base ball games
Let us have a cat even though he really didn’t like cats
Was a firm but fair disciplinarian
Knew the importance of staying at a motel with a pool
Taught me how to pitch a softball and coached my team for several years
Was never too tired at the end of the day to help me with my homework
Forgave me when I dropped a tent trailer on his hand
Was the only person brave enough not to give up on teaching me how to drive
Rebuilt the engine of my 1968 Karman Ghia (even though he’d told me when I bought it to take it back)
Was a hard task master but always provided cold beer and good food at the end of a hard day of physical labor
Because my older sister inherited my mom’s, he built me the most beautiful cherry Hope Chest (as well as other handmade items)
Makes a killer margarita
Taught me to never underestimate the power of curry; especially in egg salad
Although he doesn’t always know what to say in times of trouble, he’s always there in times of trouble
Is man enough to allow himself to be called Pop-Pops
Let me sleep in while he walked my dog
Never gives up