Sunday, April 29, 2007

Super Hero


I grew up thinking my dad was a super hero. I haven't thought that for a long time. Like most daughters, I just took my dad for granted. Watching him this week and spending hour after hour with him at the hospital has reminded me of his super hero powers. My dad worked two jobs. He wanted to provide his children with everything they needed and wanted. He wanted my mom to be home full time with his daughters.

When I was little, there was nothing my dad could not do. He would go to the mail box after work and pull out letters I got from the animals in the zoo. It never occurred to me that they only wrote when he was around to read them. I just knew there would always be one when he got home. He always knew how to make two pennies magically appear in the change holder of a pay phone and always handed one to me and one to my sister. When hoola hoops were the fashion, and every store was sold out, he found them for us. Only my dad would spend an hour on the subway carrying two hula hoops for his kids. When my daughter wanted a Cabbage Patch Doll, dolls selling for 4 or more times their value on the "black market", my dad got her one. He worked in Macy's and got his associate in the toy department to hold two for him. That's my dad, filling any need that needs filling.

Even as an adult, my dad never lets me down. When my son was in the hospital, and I was scared, he flew to my side. When my son was a baby, he came every week to watch him for a few hours to give me a break. He had never changed a diaper before this boy was born but, he learned and changed his grandson's, never complaining. When my idiot sister needs money to save her house from foreclosure, he races around to banks to get her the money. This one he does complain about, but he never lets her down either.

My super hero dad is falling apart right now. He goes to the hospital every day and stares at my mom, in her unconscious state, hooked up to all her tubes and he cries. My mom is his Achilles heel. He loves her so much and every day he is dying a little more inside. My mom is very sick, but the doctors think she still might get well, or at least get better than she is now. Today I made him go home at 3:30. He had been there since 9:00. He feels he is deserting her when he leaves, although she has no clue that he is there. I don't know how to help him. I buy him little treats and try to spend as much time as I can with him, but it only helps for a short time. I try not to cry in front of him. Even my mom's doctors and nurses are worried about him. I love my mom but I want her to get better because I love my dad. She is not in any pain. She is not suffering. He is. I want his suffering to end.

5 comments:

Pissed Off Pedagogue said...

By relating how seeing your father now helps you remember how he was, you are paying a wonderful tribute to his nurturing spirit and love for his family. My heart goes out to you and your family and I hope your mom will recover enough to once more be the person she was. You are an extraordinarily caring person, and we now have a better picture as to how you became that way!

Pissed Off said...

THANKS FOR YOUR KIND WORDS

CaliforniaTeacherGuy said...

You write: "My mom is his Achilles heel."

This is the most poignant--and powerful--description of selfless love I have ever read. That is why your dad is suffering--because he loves. And unless you want him to stop loving, his suffering cannot end.

Take heart: Love like your dad's is hard to come by in this world. You were bathed in it from birth, and it washes over you--and your whole family--even today.

Myrtle Hocklemeier said...

It's a horrible, horrible, part of life. Perhaps the only good things are the memories.

Greg said...

I saw your post about your dad. I am a New York Times bestselling author working on a new book about father-daughter relationships and thought you might want to contribute. Please visit my page for details about submitting stories for Daddy's Little Girl.

Gregory E. Lang
Author, Why a Daughter Needs a Dad