Today, the girls and I went to go visit my papa at the hospital. He had surgery on his spine, which is always fun. The bone had calcified around the nerve bundle coming out of his head and was causing some loss of function in one of his arms, so they opened him up to install some scaffolding. While they were in there, they discovered a mess of ruptured disc, so ended up fusing him together. I'm hoping that the next time he runs, he'll make the bionic man noise. I can totally picture it now.
He was in great spirits when we saw him, with a totally bitchen scar running across his neck. The girls were fascinated and had lots of questions, most of which they whispered into my ear and then demanded I repeat to my dad. He answered them all and had the girls totally at ease, showing off his tubes and needles and cool toys. He even let Lily push the button to make the shades rise, revealing his view of the freeway. Although I have to think the highlight was the white line that lead you from the parking lot to the entrance. They were downright religious in their following of the thing and thrilled to have such clear direction in life.
Dad was set to be sprung from the joint by days end so should be home by now, enjoying the flash cards I made him in case his throat was hurting. They say things like, "Screw the ice chips, give me a beer" and, my personal favorite, "You are my favorite child. No really, I always liked you best."
He claims he'll be back at work tomorrow, but that remains to be seen. He's run his own business for the past 30 years, so I wouldn't put it past him. Silly man.
It was a little odd seeing him in the hospital. My dad is a very strong man. He's the guy who shows up every time we have a house project and helps think it through and then build whatever we're working on. He's worked our deck, the playground we scored off craigslist, our crazy eight foot high bed, and more recently, he helped build our chicken coop, all while muttering how crazy we were for getting chickens. I only ever saw him cry once and didn't know what to expect from him, less than 24 hours post surgery.
But he was just my dad, sitting in a chair, eating a cheeseburger and coke and wearing a gown with a pair of jeans. He wasn't even hooked up to the tubes, though he sported an attachment in his left forearm. He walked us around and made jokes and was just... Dad.
I'm starting to wonder if anything can take him down. But mostly, I'm hoping nothing will for a very long time.
My dad with one-year-old Anya, enchanting her with stories and facial hair.