For two mornings in a row, sunlight has found me snuggled under the covers in my grandmother's room, waking in the warm embrace of so many memories. But for the first time that I can remember, Daddy hasn't been already up and sitting at the kitchen table, sipping coffee, newspaper spread before him.
This morning, I tiptoed through the kitchen to the back room, unable to stay in bed any longer. But yesterday I let myself fall back asleep, tired from a late night, and not wanting to wake him and my mom up, knowing they had to be more tired than I was.
I had planned to drive in yesterday morning to celebrate Daddy's 86th birthday, which is today. But after a phone call from my sister Friday evening, letting me know Mama thought Daddy had had a stroke earlier that day and urging her to call 911 since Daddy wouldn't let Mama, I tossed some clothes in a bag and hit the road.
By the time I pulled into Houston close to midnight, Daddy "felt fine" and, against the hospital's advice, had my niece drive them home.
He did look normal to me. His voice has gotten weak, thanks to a paralized vocal cord from a major stroke years ago, and his walk has slowed quite a bit, but he was up and attending to my mom, who is mostly in a wheelchair these days because of weak muscles (the drug Zocor literally ate holes in her muscles after briefly using it a few years ago) and breathing problems (asthma).
The hospital said he'd had a TIA, or mini-stroke, so yesterday I kept a close watch on him. At times he seemed weak. His speech would get tangled up periodically and his headache returned for awhile. But then he'd be his old self again and I'd breathe. I stayed on him to drink lots of water and eat. (The man who used to graze all day long is now never hungry.)
So this morning, when he finally stepped into the kitchen, his usual smile on his face, I was especially grateful for the chance to say "Happy birthday, Daddy!" and give him a big hug.
There will be cake and ice cream and singing this afternoon. But I'll be celebrating my Daddy all day.
Here are a few sweets from the past week...
Monday: a day to play catch-up and dust off to-do lists; the Beach Boys singing to you while you run
Tuesday: crisp autumn mornings; progress on your book; pepperoni rolls and agave wheat beer on a restaurant patio with 2/3 of your kids and your husband on a beautiful evening in Austin; grocery shopping with your daughter
Wednesday: frisky puppies; a potential sale of one of your photos; dinner and a funny movie with friends, celebrating a birthday
Thursday: working in the school library, with a view of the rolling hills; finishing Season 4 of Breaking Bad
Friday: working a second day in the school library; helping kids find books they want; people who adopt their foster children; kids with good manners; a golden-egg-moon rising to keep you company on a long drive; prayers for your Daddy; instead of visiting your Daddy in the hospital, you get to see him walking and talking like normal at your childhood home; hugs from your Daddy
Saturday: waking in your childhood home; a home, full of family; your youngest son helping his big brother move into a new apartment; the sight of your two sons standing in the doorway after a long day of moving and hours on the road
Sunday: being able to wish your Daddy a happy 86th birthday and give him a birthday hug in person
What were some of the sweets from your past week? Share them here, including a link if you write about them.
Hope you all have a beautiful Sunday. I would appreciate prayers for my Daddy and Mama!