October 29, 2007
Having a moment
As of late my father is more under the weather than usual. For those who know the full story, I recognize that this is the understatement of the year, perhaps second only to "Britney's having a moment." But thankfully denial isn't just a river in Egypt, and instead it often flows right past my apartment door. That is just fine with me.

Dad's recent battle with pneumonia has got the women of his life in even more of a frenzy than usual, prompting one daughter to cut short a trip to San Francisco and the other to cancel a Tallahassee weekend. He is the man in our lives, one of the only men in the family, actually, surrounded first by three sisters and then a wife and two daughters, as well as a series of Yorkshire terriers, domestic shorthairs, parakeets, hamsters, and hermit crabs that (we suspect) were females. He knows estrogen.

My father fell last week, giving him an awful backache and only increasing his confusion as to what exactly is going on with his body. I of course rushed over to their home equipped with the Bell, because it is well known that Taco Supremes counteract bone deterioration and help to assuage a child's guilt over not being there to catch him. We woke him up to eat and he obliged us. As we each unwrapped our dinner, my mother noticed something odd.

"Kris, your dad's lips are purple," she said, craning her head to examine them from different angles.

They were. His lips were a deep shade of purple, a sign to us that his constant O2 companion and his compromised lungs weren't doing their jobs. I dropped my taco, a feat that should indicate just how dearly I love this man, and walked closer to him, staring more intensely while he watched me with wide green eyes. He took shallow breaths, unable to speak.

"It's actually dried blood," I said, talking to him in measured speech so as not to induce panic. "Dad, you bit your lip when you fell. Let's see where the cuts are." My mother went into automatic motion, scurrying to the kitchen for a wet cloth. I rolled up my sleeves as I thought Meredith Grey might and examined his mouth and his nearly black lips. He looked confused. The ensuing frenzy only made it worse, part comedy, part we're into some serious shit here, a tornado of water and towels and a powerful flashlight with which to inspect our patient. He said nothing, still unable to catch his breath.

And just as I swooped in to rid his beautiful pink lips of their black invader, my father's oxygen finally caught up with his intent. "Guys," he said, raising a single finger to stop me. My mother and I halted dead in our tracks, hanging on his every weak word. I touched his arm. "Yes, Dad?"

He breathed in deeply. "I fell asleep eating Oreos."

I simply could not love that man more.


29 Comments:

Blogger Skyzi said...

That's a perfect love.

Blogger The Hotfessional said...

Well, now we know, for certain, where you got your sense of humor. And Taco Bell? Does cure all.

Thoughts and prayers for your dad.

Blogger Paige Jennifer said...

There is something unquestionably crappy about having a sick parent. But it is just a little less crappy when said parent can make you laugh. And yeah, I'm speaking from experience. Some people might cringe but I always double over in a fit of giggles when my dad refers to his MS Support Group as The Crips. We're thinking about buying them matching red bandanas.

Blogger Chantel said...

I think I love him too!

Blogger WildbillthePirate said...

Where do you think you got your innate charm from, Kris?

Blogger Mamma said...

Hmmm. I wonder where his daughter got her sense of humor?

My offer stands. You need anything, anytime, you call me. I mean it. I'll be hurt if I find out later you didn't.

Blogger Sizzle said...

i didn't think i would end up laughing when i started reading this story.

:)

Blogger Ryane said...

Oh Kris, that is an awesome post. I love you dad, too! AND, I wish him well.

Blogger Gwen said...

I'm sorry about your dad, Kris.

And on the theme of Taco Bell: I have never ever eaten there. Not even once. Last night I asked my husband if we should go there just once and order one of everything, so I can understand the Taco Bell thing. I've held on to my TB virginity for so long, though .....

Blogger abbersnail said...
Blogger Ulysses said...

You're a good daughter, I'm sure he thinks about that frequently.

Blogger punky said...

the apple definitely didn't fall far from the tree.

Blogger TrappedInColorado said...

This was charming....

Blogger JordanBaker said...

Taco Bell Supreme will absolutely help the bones--it's loaded with calcium in the delicious forms of sour cream and shred cheese.

This was a great tidbit. Thanks for sharing it. Your family has a wonderful synergy to them.

And Taco Bell fixes anything. Seriously.

Blogger Heather B. said...

That was a perfect mix of heartbreaking and sweet.

Miss you.

Blogger Michelle L. said...

He sounds like my Grandfather. Even when he was sick, he had a great sense of humor. Before he passed, my grandfather had his colon removed, and had a colostomy bag. I was helping him change it one day and out of nowhere he started laughing and said to me "I always told you one of these days you'd have to wipe my ass for me. You ready to put me in the home yet?"

Blogger Mia said...

yeah. wow. my dad's my heart too.. I hear yours talking.

But I WOULD have had to smack him for that one.. just a little *grin*

Blogger SDW said...

That was beautiful. You're a lucky woman to have someone as funny and charming as your father in your life.

Thoughts and good vibes going the direction of your pops.

Blogger Danielle said...

he sounds so wonderful. you are both so lucky to have each other. my thoughts are with you.

Blogger Melliferous Pants said...

Aw! I love your dad, too.

Blogger Jorge said...

I'm still reeling at you dropping the Bell.

Holy Smackers!

Blogger gorillabuns said...

thanks, now i'm crying in my mixed drink.

Blogger Lawyer Mama said...

Oh, babe. Oh, babe. Way to make me cry.

First, I think I love you. You bring Taco Bell. That is fantabulous.

Second, Oreos rock, so I think I love your dad too. But only if they were Double Stuff.

Blogger Lola Goetz said...

awesome dad. hope you all are doing okay. big hugs sent your way. :*

becky

Blogger Mrs. Chicken said...

This reminds me of my relationship with my dad. I loved him with all my heart.

A post well worthy of the perfect moniker.

Blogger Elizabeth said...

I was on the verge of tears and in an instant I was laughing so hard that wine shot out of my nose!

Thanks for sharing this story, I enjoyed all of it, even the wine out the nose part.

-EB

Blogger :: Suzanne :: said...

ok so you have to go read my Doctor Dandy post, keeping in mind that my Dad is a freshly minted paraplegic due to a spinal cord injury.

Blogger Neil said...

What a beautiful story, filled with the humor that we expect from you -- more special, because we now know from where you inherited this sense of humor.

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