Daddy don’t let go, please don’t let go. My arms wrapped around my fathers neck and I willed him to take me home. I could feel his grip on me tighten as he carried me down the hospital corridor. I rested my throbbing head on his strong shoulder, while my tears soaked through his flannel shirt.
I fell on my head. It explains a lot, so people tell me. The hospital terrified me. But when you have a lump on your forehead the size of a tennis ball and you throw up, you’re going on a middle of the night trip to the Emergency Room. Having my father’s strong arms around me made it bearable.
My father has always been a source of strength for me. My mother calls him stubborn. Because he would proceed when others would give up doesn’t always mean stubborn, it means perseverance and strength. My father does not quit.
Going through my wallet I found a crumbled receipt. On it were cell phone numbers, my mom’s, my brothers and my sister-in-laws. I wrote on the first piece of paper I could find. Written down so we could all get in touch with each other at any time. These phone numbers were also for our kids if they needed us because someone was always at the hospital, my father had a heart attack.
Because of a raging infection it was three months before we got him home. This is when I saw his strength in a different light. He spent two months in intensive care. That’s where he decided he could breath on his own and he took his breathing tube out himself. He beat the odds, amazed the doctors and kept the nurses on their toes. He left the hospital without his sternum and his left hand holding up his sweat pants.
“They told me I can’t drive.”
“Yeah dad, because of the air bags and not having a sternum.”
“So I’m supposed to sit in the back seat, let your mother driving me around like she’s my chauffeur?”
“She can’t drive in the snow.”
“I can drive in the snow.”
“I’m going to the Feds.”
I opened my mouth to speak, but he was going to the Feds?
For the next month my father was on the phone with the federal government explaining his medical situation. He filled out papers, his doctors filled out papers. While waiting for the Feds to okay an on/off switch for his airbag, he scoured the area for a mechanic. He received his okay, had the mechanic come to him and do the job in his driveway.
From the time I was a child in my father’s strong arms to now when I see him struggle because his grandsons have to cut his grass, my father has taught me strength. Through the years I have gained confidence because I learned to per severe and be strong. I believe my father is Superman. I believe he is the source of my strength.