The best gift this year came with a gold bow on top and wrapped in a DAV (Disabled American Veteran) blanket found in a thrift store. My Papa put a gold bow on his head on Christmas and it was awesome. Not that my father has never done anything cool or cute before. At 4’11”, he can’t help being adorable although at times he is the charming bad ass.
I call him Cranky. He started yelling at the TV a couple years ago and hasn’t stopped. He is a Fox News addict and while I am grateful that he has started voting, his renewed interest in politics has been some what distressing.
When he is in the hospital, I call him, Sir Crank Pants. I don’t care what the nurses thought of our banter, making my dad smile is one of the best things in life. One nurse told the doctor that my dad was delusional. He isn’t. Stubborn as hell, set in his ways but not delusional. He can learn and grow. He is slow to trust and loyal to the core; mess with one of his kids then you are in trouble.
Two weeks ago, Momma and I were sitting down to eat lunch and drink mojitos, our little tradition, when my sister called. The message which came to us was that Papa had fallen. Our order was cancelled as we rushed out the door waving goodbye to our mojitos. And not caring in the slightest.
We arrived at the hospital and discovered that he hadn’t fallen. His sodium was so low that our family doctor (yes, we actually have one doctor for all of us) called and told him to go directly to the Emergency Room where we found him. He looked so small draped in a hospital gown. He may be short, but predictably he has never been small.
He has always been huge in my life. A giant.
When I first met Papa, I was already taller than him. He was dating Momma and I was living with my birth father. Papa’s arrival meant that she could be a physically part of my life. She didn’t have a car and was living in a closet, not a small apartment in New York. She had no way to get to me. No way to see me. It also meant that Momma had the support that she needed to prosper once again. She got the spark back and started her own craft business.
He came into my life and I got Momma back. All of her.
And he is still here.
My Papa is still here, living and breathing and stirring up trouble and driving us all blessedly nuts.
Thank you, Santa.