Friday, January 5, 2007

Those who come calling in the night…

It is 5 AM and dark as the nights come. I have all my house lights on and I am up drinking coffee and listening to a morning radio show. There is an abrupt knock upon my backdoor. Maggie comes furiously tearing out of my bedroom barking up a storm. I cautiously walk to the backdoor to look out thinking it would be George on one of his early morning hung over escapades. I picked up my wallet as I walked by my curio in anticipation of him asking for twenty dollars. To my surprise, it is my father. My heart races in anticipation of bad news. He is never up this early in the morning and I fear the worst. It is also pouring down rain.

“What are you doing up so early?” He asks as I swing my backdoor open.

He is standing there in the rain with an umbrella. I ask him to come inside.

“I get up pretty early most days,” I reply. “I can keep odd hours.”

“Well, it just worries me when you keep odd hours,” He says and walks into my bathroom to check and make sure I am taking my medications.

“You missed Wednesday’s nightly dose,” He says looking disappointed.

“I take my medicine, Dad,” I say. “I just forgot that one night.”

“You take that medicine,” He says with a scolding air. “It is so important to you getting better.”

“I thought something bad had happened when you came over so early,” I reply relieved.

“The alarm at the drug store is going off,” He says. “The police called and I am driving down to check on it.”

Maggie escapes from the backdoor and goes flying out into the night and into my backyard.

“Shit!” My father exclaims.

“Dammit!” I mutter. “I will never get her back inside in this rain.”

“Well, let me run,” Dad says as he gives me a long hug and tells me he loves me.

I pull his head close to my chest and wrap my arms around him. I am so much taller than him. That silver white hair is so soft.

“I love you, too,” I reply.

“You take that damn medicine,” He says once again as he opens his umbrella and runs to his Honda.

“I will!” I holler out after him into the dark, rainy night.

It is so important for people like me to have family such as this. So many mentally ill people have families who give up on them or who no longer care. I am one of the lucky ones. Despite all I have put my family through over the years with this illness, my father is like a Rock of Gibraltar; always there; always concerned and caring. Yes, he can be overbearing at times and obstinate, but I wouldn’t trade his love and these moments for anything else in the world. I, truly, am a lucky man.

10 comments:

Amanda said...

Your pa sounds a lot like mine. It can be a blessing and a curse. Either way, I'm glad we have them. :)

Cheryl said...

You truely are a very lucky man. You and your family have had some ups and downs, but it seems to be few and far between. I am so glad your parents are back in town, as I'm sure you are. I love how you hug and tell each other you love them. It's so important to show and tell how you feel. I hope it's a good day for you. Rainy and gray here...

RICH said...

nice story. you truly are lucky and blessed.

SKQBDOO said...

what a great relationship you two have

zirelda said...

You are very lucky to have him Andrew. My father died 18 years ago when I was 22. I still miss him.

Keep your times with him close to your heart.

austere said...

Touchwood.

orchid said...

Andrew~

I'm so touched by your tender, early morning exchange with your Father, you made my heart melt!!!

My parents moved here 6 years ago, after being separated from each other for 20+ years. Being together again brought back a lot memories of growing up 'under their thumb'. A lot of old anxieties resurfaced. And we're still working through our differences, but they've become less and less as time has passed. We love one another above all and rely on each other whenever it's necessary.

Acceptance plays a big role. One that you seem to embrace more often than not. To me, it's a mutual cross we willingly bear...'cause being that close to me ain't a walk in the park either!

Be well.

latibug said...

I know you of all people know how blessed you are to have a family that loves and supports you....even if they make you scream sometimes.

Have a great weekend!
Lisa

abbagirl74 said...

They are lucky to have you as well. Let's not forget that.

Anonymous said...

Andrew, you have a way of tugging at heart strings. Sometimes people have more than a few spiritual viruses in their definition of what it means to "love", especialy between family members, but at the end of the day, it is the gracious acceptance and heartfelt embrace as you have written about here, that is the ultimate expression of love. Thanks for the heartwarming conveyance of your exchange with your dad!