Dad and I were just sitting at my kitchen table eating breakfast. He cooked biscuits and bacon again – one of our favorite breakfasts these days. He’s been getting these frozen biscuits at a grocery store in LaGrange and they taste fresh made after being baked. My head was hung low in subservience. I feel the need to be “on stage” when I am around dad – so careful of my actions as not to alarm him or worry him. I have a strong tendency to act socially strange much of the time.
“Hold your head up and let me look at you,” he told me filling his mouth with bacon and chewing. “You look so much better! You are back from the dead!”
I smiled weakly and hung my head low again. I ate a biscuit and said, “I love you and thank you for what you are doing for me. Just having you over here every morning brings me such joy. It’s hard to explain, but your encouragement gives me a reason for living.”
“Families should stick together,” my father told me. “You know what I did for your sister-in-law when she had her breast cancer. I am doing the same for you. You have an illness of the brain – a disease. I would do the same for your brother and sister.”
Dad was off today. I asked him what plans he had.
“They are putting new shutters in the house today and I think I will supervise,” dad replied laughing. “You have to stay on those sons of bitches to get the job done right.”
I laughed in turn. My father always has something going on centering around the house. If it isn’t the yard, then something is getting painted, repaired, or improved.
“Go get your shower and I will clean up the kitchen,” dad said as he stood up and opened my dish washer. “You need a shave as well.”
I thought of how much this man means to me as I stood in the shower and lathered up. I love him so very, very much. I want him to be proud of me. Families should stick together mirrored in my thoughts. I would be helpless without him – homeless in some strange city. Mentally ill and swilling beer to alleviate my mental illness symptoms. He truly is my Rock of Gibraltar.