When I had Margaret my body and mind were torn in two. I came home from the hospital unable to walk and the light had gone from my eyes. I cried when I didn't feel anything and sat silent and staring when every emotion threatened to jump out of the skin that no longer felt like my own. I spent the first night out of the hospital at my parents house. My mom held Margaret and gave her the love that I couldn't, not yet. My Dad left to pick up my prescriptions and came home with three bags full to bursting with a representative from every shelf in the pharmacy. Here were a few candies, there was a collection of painkillers, over there every gossip magazine and also ice cream and chap stick and shampoo and a toothbrush and does anyone want popcorn? Because he bought three bags.
I remember looking through the hodge podge, my Walgreen's treasure chest, and feeling absolutely, completely loved. I could see my Dad in the middle of that fluorescent lit space, worried about his little girl and wishing he could make everything better. But there are some things even dads can't fix. I needed time, experience and healing. And so he bought one of everything, because at least it might make me smile. And that was a start.
Yesterday, my dad got admitted to the hospital by doctors using big and scary words. He just needs time and healing, I know that. But I hate that I can't fix it myself. Right now. When we got to his room, he realized he had forgotten his pajamas so I darted off to Walmart for some temporary replacements. As I stood in the middle of the fluorescent lit space, I had to stop myself from buying one of everything. So I picked out a few pairs of pants and t-shirts. One of the shirts is a black number with the men from a show called Duck Dynasty stretched across the front. I don't know what that show is and I have never seen those men in my life. But they were wearing red bandanas and leather vests, which I thought he would think was funny. (He did not.)
I know it doesn't make a lick of sense, but when I walked back into the hospital carrying that bag full of cotton nonsense, I felt like I had done just one millionth of a something that he has done for me.
And that is a start.