The sun peeks over the horizon with a sudden flash of orange. I get up to begin breakfast and start another day. My phone rings very early this morning and I wonder who could be calling at such an early hour. It is my father.
“I am going shopping for your niece’s birthday, today,” He says. “Do you want me to get something from you for her as well?”
I have taken great care to take my medications religiously lately. I have also taken great care to reach out to my family and to not get enveloped in the selfish shell that my illness can foster.
“I was just going to send her some money,” I reply.
“You need to put more thought into a gift for her,” My father says with a scolding air. “Sending money is a lazy and thoughtless gift.”
“Well, she has all the toys and clothes a child could want,” I say. “She is spoiled rotten. I don’t know what to get her.”
My father thinks for a moment and realizes I am right.
“I will get her another nice outfit for you,” He replies. “Your sister-in-law can never have enough clothes for her.”
The conversation wanders away from birthdays for little girls to more personal things. We get on the subject of how well I am doing these days as far as my mental illness goes.
“I can tell you are taking your medications,” My father says. “You are so rational and easy to talk to. Our relationship is so different.”
I agree with him. I have taken great care to take my medications religiously lately. I have also taken great care to reach out to my family and to not get enveloped in the selfish shell that my illness can foster.
“Are you excited about your new house?” He then asks changing the subject.
“I can’t wait to move in,” I reply.
“You know we love you and you will never lack for anything as long as I am alive,” He says and it deeply touches my heart. A few tears well up in my eyes.
“I love you dad,” I say.
“I just want you to be okay,” He replies before saying goodbye. “You will always be my firstborn and the most special of my children.”
A feeling of peace and wellness overcomes me as I hang up the phone. My father is a very wonderful and wise man who only wants the best for me. We have often had a turbulent relationship in the past due to my schizophrenia, but he always pulls through for me. He never gives up no matter how filled with perils the road ahead my lie. Most fathers would have given up long ago in exasperation and placed me in a group home for the mentally ill. He certainly has the money to do so. There is nothing thicker than blood I think as I pour myself another cup of coffee and go about starting my day.