Friday, June 26, 2009

Hero Dad

"Cut it here, Daddy!" I said through my tears. Dad was struggling to get tape off my finger. Why? Well, after Monkey See's trip to the hospital. (See THIS post for details), Mom and I took a trip down memory lane. I broke my thumb when I too was seven and in second grade.

What?! You are NOT surprised by the fact that I am clumsy?
You underestimate me! No, I mean you underestimate just how klutzy I am! Really! I cannot even be classified as only clumsy(not strong enough), awkward(sadly ineffective) or klutzy(weak adjective). My clumsy episodes are actually rated on the F-scale. Really.

So here is what happened...

Mom and Daddy were out for the evening, and my older sister and brother were supposed to be watching my younger sister and me. I have NO idea why they weren't, but they were upstairs leaving my younger sister and I to our own devices.
I blame them completely! They weren't watching us, and me breaking my thumb was ALL THEIR FAULT!

No, NOT really!

Anyway, J and I were playing with a folding high chair. At one point, I was trying to move it or something with J still in it, and it suddenly went down and took both of us with it. My thumb was right in the joint and was folded in the joint when we went down. The full weight of J and the chair all landed on my thumb. Somehow, and I don't know how, she landed square on the seat as it hit the floor -unhurt.

WAAAAAAA! It is all your fault! ....Oh, I give up! I do not blame anyone. It is one of those things that happen to me because I am rated on the F-scale.

I bet YOU can't say that!

HOPE you can't say that!

Thank GOODNESS you can't say that!

Really. I am TERRIBLE. I sprained my ankle four times this past year! You think I am kidding, but I am not. I really did.

Unfortunately, My poor Monkey See inherited my graceful prowess! She is doomed to a life of scars, scars and more scars! *SIGH* poor little girl!

So there we were, in the kitchen, and somehow I managed to disentangle my thumb.

Now, you know how, when you are little, that you ALWAYS think EVERY boo-boo is a broken (insert appendage here)! Well, during one of my dramatic (I bet you can't believe I am dramatic!) over-reactions (I bet you can't believe that I tend to over-react!), my mother said, "If it was broken, it would be black and blue right away!" And all the other things that mothers say -when they have dramatic (not me!!) daughters who tend to over-react (surely you can't be talking about THIS blogger!)
Somehow that stuck with me. So as I stood in the dining room of the VERY big home we had, I looked at my thumb, and it was absolutely black.


I think they heard it in China, don't you? Did YOU hear it? It would have been early spring in 19.... OOPS! almost gave my age away! Anyway, if you heard my scream, just forget WHEN it was. And whatever you do, don't tell! Then we can all remain friends!

Anyhoo! S and L came running, and S didn't know what to do, so he called Grandma (you can see a picture of her HERE). Grandma came over, and being from rural Nebraska, the nearest ER was 30 miles away. Back in NE, there are still small-town Doctors! You get the best care from doctors who know your first name and delivered you, all your siblings, and in some cases, your parents. You went to the same Doctor for everything, and nearly everything could be handled there!

But it was closed.

So Grandma, not really knowing what to do, decided to stabilize it by wrapping it with tape.
TIGHT, with tape!

Then she put us all to bed and went home.

I woke while it was dark, and my thumb was throbbing. I tossed and turned. I tried so hard to go back to sleep, but my thumb hurt SO BAD, and I was holding back the tears. Then I couldn't any longer. I didn't want to wake my parents. I thought they might be mad at me for being out of bed, but I could not take the pain any longer. So I got out of bed and went to my parent's room. I think I went around to the other side of the bed -away from the door- and woke Daddy up. He sat up an in the dim light from the yard lamp outside, he could see that there was something wrong.
"Cindy, turn on the light!"

I will never forget as long as I live the look of horror in my parent's eyes as they saw my thumb. It had swelled so badly that the skin and swollen tissue had stretched between the edges of the tape and made little bulges and bumps. It pushed its way out. And it was painful.

They KNEW it was hurting me, and there was a look in my mother's eyes of sheer horror at my pain. My Daddy looked so sad, but he was all business! Mom went and got her tiny little Fiskars (scissors), and Daddy began the difficult job of trying to cut the tape off of my thumb -without cutting me or causing me any more pain. It was a daunting task. The tape had been stuck sticky-side to sticky-side and would not budge -not only that, but the swelling had caused the tape to be even tighter. It took what felt like forever! And I vividly remember telling Daddy to cut it in a specific place, and he told me that it would not get the tape off, but snipped there anyway. Sure enough. He was right! It stuck -steadfast refusing to budge.

I would have to say that, in the whole process from the breaking all the way to the cast, this part was the most painful and traumatic. I was SO relieved when the tape finally came off! There was such instant relief! My thumb still throbbed, but it was no longer throbbing AND constricted -an excruciating combination!

Daddy knew just what to do! He splinted my finger (wrapping it very LOOSELY this time).
By the time Daddy got all the splint on, I could just begin to see the sky turning from black to gray, and it began to grow lighter as I snuggled into their waterbed and fell asleep.

The next morning, Mom found someone to watch J (I think it was Grandma), T & S went to school, and I went to the Dr. He confirmed the break -right on the knuckle- and put a cast all the way to my elbow.

My Daddy was and is my hero. Good under pressure, he always loved me without condition, always accepted me without expectation, and never turned away affection. Daddy always shares. He would go into the store and get a really BIG drink -because he gave every one of us turns to have a drink. I bet he still shares with the grandkids!

He is a great driver. We had a little standard transmission Festiva, and one day, there were a couple of teens in a muscle care at one of the three lights in Norfolk, NE (hehe!), and they were reving the engine. When the light turned green he blew their bangs back! What a shame, all that souped-up power, and no skill to use it! Truly a shame! It is important to note that we had to PILE in that car! There were six kids in the family, and somehow we always managed. I don't think we were all in there then, but I am SURE the car was above capacity!

Daddy is an Army man. He was always so handsome in his uniform, and I loved the way he smelled when he came home. Even though he is retired, I don't think that you ever get the Army out of the man! We would go for the picnics and to pick him up from his reserve weekends, and those young boys respected him. I am sure that they still do. I bet they have nothing but the highest regard for him even now.

Daddy can watch someone for a few minutes, and tell you what kind of person they are. He has a sence about that, but also he can read people like you would not believe. He watched us, as kids, and knew when we needed him. Always ready to comfort, and affirm his unconditional love. I learned how to watch people from the best.

He almost never yelled at us, but when he did, we REALLY deserved his anger! And it meant something that he was always calm and loving in his dealing with my mistakes. He listened to me, and heard me out. Paid attention to my side of the story. That meant so much to me. More than I can say.

There are more things that he did right than I am able to list here. But I am so grateful for the kind of Dad that I have! He gave us the acceptance that we needed, and I never needed to look for love somewhere else. He believed in me. Once he told me, once, that I could be the first woman president if I wanted to. Dads out there: Do you know just how crucial it is to believe in your daughters, and tell them that?! I think that no man will ever know the impact that a father has on every woman in the world. My Dad did it right, but there are so many Dads out there that really don't get it and never did.
Mine did get it, and I am so grateful. I would not trade him for the world.

Thank you, Daddy. You are my Hero! I thank God for you!

Here is my Hero, busy charming Monkey Shine!
They both look so wonderful in these photos!
So often, photos are full of fake smiles, and half-hearted expressions.
But not these! They show just the true smiles of two of my favorite people!

Here are some more great dads:

Team Hoyt

My Hero Project

Hero Dad

Enjoy reading about these dads who were and are heroes to their kids.

I think I will read this post again, and read about mine!

Let's face it, if I am sitting and reading, I am unlikely to kill myself or have any debilitating injuries. Maybe THAT is why I loved to read as a kid! Less risk!

God bless the great dads. God bless mine!
Take care of yourself, you dads out there! We still need you!

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