My little secret
It’s been a while since updating this. I guess there’s nothing new to report in regards to my dad’s condition. It’s so-so, and the medical dr’s say they really can’t treat him anymore. No more surgeries, so it’s just waiting and seeing. I just got out from the hospital again, feeling a bit tired and hoping I’m not coming down with a cold. Then I can’t really visit him as much. I was very contemplative today. As my car is falling a part, my house has some plumbing leaks that require immediate attention, as all these things just parade one after another, I pretty much shrug it off. I guess at this point, the only thing that is of concern to me is my father. And despite little sleep, and putting my life on hold, I think of the numerous sacrifices he and my mom had to endure to get me to where I am, and I laugh…Thinking this is pittance. A mere fraction and if it were me lying in that hospital you could be damn sure it would be him that’s standing or sitting next to me keeping watch.
Speaking of car troubles, I was sad the other day. My car has a plethora of problems that recently cropped up virtually overnight. Clutch is slipping, the car has a hard time starting. And I was sitting in the garage last night opening up the hood pretending I had a modicum of insight. And I thought if my dad were here now, he’d know what to do. But he wasn’t. He was within reach though, for that much I’m grateful for. But for how long? So that night when I did visit him (used my wife’s car, after sitting there in the garage trying to start my own car for 15 minutes), I ran through some ideas with him. He wasn’t really in any position to consider the options, but the fact that I ran them through him, eliminating possible points of failure and him actually agreeing with my assessment was very very assuring. Just like Linus, (from Charlie Brown), He’s like my little blanket that I would always fall back on.
Today was a particularly good day. When I arrived to visit him, he had this great huge smile when he knew I was there. Not the fake smile, or the Asian smile that are dads have because we all know older Asian men somehow are highly incapable of expression any major emotions…but a genuine, warm, tickling sensation in your tummy, type of smile that just melted me. Mind you my dad was always stern growing up, so seeing this wonderful expression, I just had a myriad of emotions pummel me.
My ‘depressed Eeyor(from Winnie the Pooh) side’ told me…wow, I wonder how many of these will I ever see again? one? maybe two?
My ‘logical’ side: told me, when he doesn’t have his dentures on, he looks a bit funny. But in a cute kind of way. I wonder when he will get his dentures back in?
My ‘artistic side: wished I had a camera right then and there to take a picture of that smile and tuck it away so I can remember it always.
My ‘imaginative side: raced and thought how cool would it be to have cameras in my eyes so I can take this picture?
And I guess finally my contemplative, instinctive side as I walked towards the car just remembered it fondly. Thinking maybe it was best I didn’t have any camera there. That it somehow would be forever etched into my memory, as my dad’s smile that he gave to just me, and only me. His youngest son. And it will be my little secret that I will someday hope to bring up and remember, when I’m in my hospital bed, or during some difficult time of hardship that no doubt we all must face. The ways his eyes lit up, like dull, old Christmas lights, twinkling in the corner. Nothing fancy or new, but just enough sprinkles of color and happiness to brighten up the room. I’m getting teary eyed thinking about it now so I guess I’ll be tucking it away to be used some day.
And who knows, if I’m lucky enough, I will be blessed with a few more mental images. My mom, giving me the same proud, happy smile, or Chrissie. My future kid’s first words. I think we all have our mental photos stashed away somewhere in our minds. Some guarded or hidden too far from your own view, but I bet if you just sit there, alone in a room, with nothing but your thoughts. I’m sure you’ll be able to pull some out, and smile. Because we all have little secrets. Good, or bad…but always, our own to keep.