Sometimes I have moments when I don’t feel so tough. Actually, I feel pretty un-tough.
Sometimes I question, why? I do pretty well with separating the medical from the emotional. I know that my Dad has severe spinal stenosis. I know that this is something that will not get any better. I know, factually, that it will get worse. When my Dad had his last spinal surgery 4 years ago, the surgeon was very straightforward and let us know that this is not fixing the problem. It was only delaying its progress. Immobility.
A few months ago, I watched the Earl Campbell “A Football Life” (I love sports shows) episode. The scene opens with a view of the University of Texas with students walking, easily, to class. Then…there he is, Earl Campbell and his trainer in a golf cart on the University of Texas football field. They were there to practice walking. Here was this man with a very strong presence needing help to walk. Needing encouragement to put one foot in front of the other. Each step focused. The next step harder. Turning around even more difficult. I started crying. I had seen this before. I live with it everyday. I was glued to this episode. This scene was soooo familiar. I cried, quietly.
See…I will not cry in front of my Dad. OMG, that would make him feel terrible. Each day, I make a point to make my Dad smile. My Dad isn’t a big smiley person. Just like I will not cry in front of him, he would never show weakness in front of me. I know he is scared. He must be. He fights this every day. The struggle to stand. To sit. To walk. To step. The “delay” slowly creeping up. I ask my Dad if he is in pain. His answer is always “No, I don’t have pain, just numbness.”
I wish that there was more that I could do. I really wish that I could heal him. I pray HARD for my Daddy. I make plans. I think about what’s next. I research new technologies. Sometimes I am scared as shit. But then…I think about how we are as a family. This is not a traditional situation, but it is ours. Thankfully, we laugh…HARD!!! Thankfully, we seem to be able to find funny in tough stuff. Thankfully, my Dad is who he is…tough. So… I do have these moments. The sometimes of not feeling tough. The un-tough. The good thing is…they are only moments.