Taking Care

My Dad has been so top of mind lately as I struggle through this murky journey. I said to a friend recently and also to my mom that I feel him with me. I hear his voice in my soul quietly whispering “You can do it. You’re doing great!” It keeps me going a lot of times. And I miss him. Tremendously.

Dad had a dog named Butch when he was little. He was a mutt but a smart one and could do all sorts of cool things.  One of those things was that he would carry my dad’s lunch to school every day in his mouth. The local paper caught wind of it and sure enough, there was a picture of my Dad walking to school (cute as hell) with Butch at his side, paper lunch bag in his mouth. It hangs framed in my parent’s house next to the picture of my mom in the paper at a young age cutting the ribbon to the opening of the new Fon Du Lac Avenue in Milwaukee, WI. I’m a child of celebrities you see. (sidenote: I am desperately wishing I had the photos scanned in so you could see.)

Anyway, this morning as I brushed my teeth, Hadley was holding a toy puppy rattling on about something or other. She suddenly said “Remember Papa’s dog, Butch?”

I nodded. Brushing.

She told the stories of Butch she had heard so many times from Papa as I concentrated on brushing with my busy busy Sonicare.

She asked “Did Butch have a doggy door?”

I shrugged.

She kept going wondering about how the dog got in and out of the  house and what he must have done while Papa was at school.

I continued brushing.

Then she said “I wish Papa was alive so he could tell me how Butch got in the house.”

My eyes instantly filled with tears but I was brushing so I couldn’t say anything.

I quickly spit and said “Me too” and smiled, trying to blink back the tears.

He would be so proud of me I think quite often. I’m doing it Dad. I’m tough. I’m fighting.

Since the saline fill on Thursday, life has been rough. Painful. Grueling. Lots of tears. Lots of encouragement from the ever present Peter.

Yesterday, my mom called while out running some errands and asked if she could stop by. I said I was lying in bed and I would love it.

She came over and crept in bed next to me. We lay on my big white bed side by side, facing each other as the fan slowly turned above us. Just picturing it makes me swell with so much emotion because I love her so much. We lay there for about 45 minutes, talking and occasionally stroking each other’s arms. I adore this woman. My mom, my friend. Her big blue eyes occasionally filled with tears as well as we talked and shared with each other the goings on in our lives.

I was in pain. Lots of it. And I felt defeated. And weak.

Just being with her soothed so many of my pains. Vicodin was a big helper in the situation as well but you get my meaning.

I woke up this morning and felt human. Again, if a normal person were experiencing what I’m feeling they would be alarmed, but for me, feeling this good is a gift and I am the happy recipient. An apprehensive recipient though because I never know how long I’ll have feeling decent.

So, in my mind I am crediting my parents for this pain breakthrough. My Dad guiding me and pulling some strings in heaven and my mom working her mom magic on earth. Whether that is truly the case or not is not important. That is how it will be stored away in the filing cabinet in my heart.


Kate | September 28, 2009 at 9:32 AM

Great post, Em. Your mom is absolutely the best. I once asked her for a breakfast casserole recipe that she always made when Brian and I were staying their house in Denver.

She sent it off to me, and in the margin, she wrote, "Roger thinks this needs a little 'zip!'" God, it was so your mom. Even to this day when I'm cooking, I'll ask Brian, "Do you think it needs "a little zip?" (Complete with air-quotation marks.)

Anyway, hang in there girl. You're surrounded by the best of the best.

Emily | September 28, 2009 at 9:45 AM

oh how I love that breakfast casserole! She's all about writing little notes. Love that. Thanks for the memory, K. XOXO to all you Hendricksons.

Anonymous | September 28, 2009 at 12:45 PM

You're the pillar of strength. Good gracious.

A: Emily's mom's love for Emily.
B: Emily's love for her mom.