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.

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