One question

“How are you doing?” he asked me this morning.

It was daddy.  He beat me to calling.

My grandmother is in the hospital.  He had to fly home.  He’d told me yesterday morning.  He said I could go visit Ethan even if he wasn’t home.  She’d been there a couple of days and was about to be released when they said she needed to be transferred to another hospital for a heart operation.

“Why didn’t you tell me she was in the hospital?”

“I didn’t have time.”

“Daddy that may be your mother but that’s my grandmother.  You need to tell me if she’s sick do you hear me?”

Yesterday I kept myself busy.  I had to.  I was very worried.  My grandmother is the epicenter of my family.

The things I did to occupy my time?  Ironically were all things where I wanted to call her while doing:

  • my monthly self defense class.
  • a costume shop.
  • thrifting.
  • adventuring and finding places to sit with a notebook and dream.
  • watching an old movie in a graveyard (again).

My solstice was refreshing.  Two bottles of lambic, the company of friends and the best gift I ever got myself- that bike accompanied me and some watercolors as I headed out to Cinespia.

“Give me an eta on if you want to do something because I’m thinking about going to see the Graduate tonight with friends.” I told the grip.

“I don’t have one.  Just go with your friends then.”

“You always wait until the last minute to do anything.  You want me to commit to monogamy but you can’t even commit to a time to meet me.  I’m going.  Just meet me there.”

“That works.”

I met my friend out there and a couple of his friends.  They were disgusting adorable together and extremely nice.  My friend and I were like two left shoes leftover after a massive sale had wrecked the store.  It was disastrous.  Every little thing went wrong.

Traffic sucked.

I spilled beer on the blanket.

It took my friend 2.5 hours to get in.

Oh and I never saw the grip.

No text.

No phone call.

Nothing.

I messaged on the way home.  I called.  The hours rolled by and I heard nothing.

Around 3am I finally got a message.

“I was there. Phone was dead though.  So… yeah.  Tried to find you… no luck.”

I talked to my friend from the movie earlier.  We’d had a good time and have plans again later.  I hadn’t seen him in awhile.  It’s times like these where it’s just good to surround yourself with friends.

One day at a time.

One step.

One hope.

One heart.

I’ll get through it all.  I’ll weather this storm.

“How are you doing today?” he asked me this morning.

It was daddy, calling me from the hospital to update me on gram.

It was almost as if he knew.    “How am I?”  I didn’t know how to answer that.

“I’m fine dad.  How’s gram?”

“She’s going to be fine.  I need to tell you something though. It might not be a good idea for you to go visit Ethan today.  Your stepmother and I got into an argument before I left and I don’t want any problems for you.”

We talked some more.  About gram.  About gramps.  About different things going on here.

“I applied for a very important job this week dad.  Please send me some good vibes that I get it.”

“I will.  I want the best for you.”

“Daddy I’m trying so hard to make this all work… to get to that career.  I want to thank you for not just being Dad but being grandpa dad.  It means the world to me.  I’m sorry that you have to deal with problems with Bren.”

She doesn’t have a family.  She gets upset most everytime dad does something to help me.  I remember a weekend when my dad was changing the oil in the beast.

“Why is your father underneath a car right now getting his hands dirty?” she said as she interrupted my son and I playing some video games.

“Dad told me he’d change my oil. Why?”

“Your father is a corporate man.  He wears a suit.  He does not change oil in cars…”

“Well dad said he’d do it for me and I appreciate it.”

“He doesn’t do it for me.  Why don’t you pay someone to do it for you like I do?”

“I’m trying to spend some time with my son.  I rarely ask my dad for help with much.  I don’t live here.  I pay my own bills.  He’s helping me with one thing that will take 20 minutes.  Please drop the drama.  You’ll have to take it up with him.”

Dad got into an argument with her then too.

“She has to understand that there’s nothing that will come between me and my children.  She will not make drama for my daughter and her son.  She will not give me problems about my mother or she will be gone.  I don’t need a wife.  I will not tolerate that.”

Father’s Day.  June twenty first, two thousand nine.

“How are you doing today?” he asked me this morning.

It was the simplest thing but in one sentence it summed up so much more.  On a day that is supposed to be his he gave up everything for his family.  Because that’s what a real man does.  Because real men put the people they love above everything.  Because even when you’re a shithead, they bust their asses to make sure you know that they love you.

Thanks dad for always being there and for setting the bar so ridiculously high.

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