There is this incredible man in my life; my first super hero of sorts. I know I can call him for anything from home repairs to finances. And whereas he may not always have answers, I always feel better after hashing things out with him. I call him Dad.
My dad is known for using humor to tackle tough subjects and I find I lean toward laughter (sometimes inappropriately) to process difficult situations myself. It works for us. So when I walked into the emergency room last night after a frantic three hour drive, I was not at all surprised to hear him declare the room service at home stunk so he was trying a new place.
My dad has an excellent health record but his family line does not. I missed the chance to say goodbye to both of his parents who were younger than he is now because by the time it was understood they were having heart attacks, it was too late. I have always feared losing him the same way. My dad was very ill and more than 24 hours later, we still don't know why. But he is back to his ornery self, wearing out nurses and my mother. I wouldn't have it any other way although I suspect my mother might have a slightly different opinion.
After the initial shock of my mom's call and the frustration of sitting in rush hour traffic when I simply needed to get to my parents, a take charge calm took over. The girls and I looked to jokes and funny stories to keep us from stewing as we navigated that drive. My emotions remained in check until a cup of water was spilled this morning. It was clear at that point my dad was going to be okay but the reality of what I feared bubbled over and spilled out of me much like that cup of water and I sobbed uncontrollably. No matter how old I get or how far apart we live, I need my dad and I am beyond grateful this was not as serious at they initially suspected. After all, my world is a much happier place with his particular sense of humor in it.