This is my favorite time of the year and I’ll tell you why. In our family, we don’t fuss over birthdays or anniversaries. Easter and Thanksgiving pass by with a great home cooked meal catered completely by my husband and hopefully family or company to look forward to. And Mother’s Day is the same – only quite often at a restaurant. Oh yeah, Valentine’s Day doesn’t even get a mention.
But Christmas – now that’s the big one!
Everyone gets spoiled on this holiday. We all go a little insane with shopping, making up for all those special days we missed. In fact this year, I really did it up good.
My 93 year-old dad had a fall recently and after 5 weeks in a splint and being transported everywhere in a wheelchair, he just doesn’t have the same strength he once bragged about. Walking is such a chore for him now and a potential hazard, that I surprised him by taking him to the local medical supply store and buying him a motorized wheelchair.
My goodness, you should see him go. Being an old mechanic, he took to it like a mischievous puppy to a smelly old sock. I know why it means so much to him, and that is the main reason we went shopping. His Ford, as he calls it, has given him back a level of independence he’d lost and thought gone forever.
It’s weird how easy it is for me to put myself in his place, and think I understand what he’s going through. But, I’m constantly surprised at my ignorance. Of really getting it – how difficult life becomes when you have to battle every small achievement you once took completely for granted.
So if this mobile chair can bring him even a small feeling of accomplishment and pride in himself for being able to do it alone, then the fearsome, relentless worry I’ve invested in that wonderful old man will be able to find some small measure of peace.
***When I wrote my new series, THE MOB TRACKER, there was only one person who I could dedicate it to. My father, my hero – Papa John.
I’m dedicating this series to my father, who we lovingly refer to as Papa John. This man has been a huge influence throughout my life. He’s a smart, energetic, affectionate and very wise ninety-two-year-old man who is still going strong – likes to brag that he’s only taking one pill a day. He’s legally blind but no one can tell from the way he gets around. Whenever he appears in the dining room at his lodge, people light up, and the jokes start flying.
This man brightens the day for everyone around him, and it thrills me to be his very fortunate daughter. To dedicate this new series to him is my way of telling the world that without his calm guidance and constant example, I’d never be the writer, the wife, the mother or the successful, happy woman I am today.
I love you, Papa John!