Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Daddy Issues

On the way home from a fun filled jaunt to SF for the weekend, we stop by my parents house Sunday night to collect the doggin. My mom is standing at the garage door in her underwear and no makeup, shoving Bella into my arms. 

"We'refine!Don'tneedtocomeup,Everything'sgreat!Didyouguyshavefun?Youmustbetired!Goodnight!" and sweeps us out the garage. I didn't even need to know how to spot a liar to know that she was up to no good.

Driving home, R and I joke about how she probably wouldn't even tell us if my dad (who had been under the weather for a couple of weeks) died, then referenced the episode of Curb where LD's mom passed away and his dad didn't tell him because he didn't want to "bother him."

Monday morning I dropped by before work to bring her a present from our trip. Something seemed off when I walked in. I opened the door to their bedroom and my dad's side of the bed was pristine.

"Where's dad..." I said, a little taken aback by the thunking seriousness of my voice.

"He's at the hospital," she said, bleary eyed, propping herself up.


"Sunday morning," she yawned and stretched, "We didn't want you to worry!" 

I guess it's not so funny when she's doing it to you.

*      *      *

Room 246. I'm afraid of what I might find when I push back the heavy wooden door. He looks worse than I had imagined. Small, frail (obviously, right? who looks strong and healthy in a hospital bed?) trapped in a web of tangled tubes that resemble the backside of a computer desk. 

Oxygen tubes wrap around his face that seems more bespeckled with liver spots than usual, or could've been the haaaarible lighting in there. IV bags hover above like pregnant translucent vultures. He turns to look at me.

Seeing him like this only made me think of the time when I was seven and ran over his big toe with my new pink scooter with chubby clumsy white tires. His toenail eventually turned black and fell off, but he wasn't mad at me. I smiled at him while choking back some tears, while knowing that my red nose is probably a dead giveaway. 

"Hey, Dad!" I said, a little taken aback by the upbeat steadiness of my voice.

photo by sally mann


  1. I'm sorry chickpea. I'm thinking of you all and sending my love.

    Isn't amazing how we can do that whole 'upbeat' thing so as not to upset the people we love? I did it while my Grandad was in hospital, everyone said how strong I was. I wasn't strong, I just loved him.

  2. I'm so sorry, my girl.

    Sending lots of love your way.

  3. Sending my best wishes to you and yours over there... Need symbols for like, super-squeezing-good-vibes******.

  4. very sorry for you, my sweetest. sending you all kinds of love from the eastern seaboard. xxo

  5. <3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3 Thank you guys. I love you!

  6. sending a big hug

    my step mom had a heart attack a few years ago and I got a damn email from my dad. "I know you're busy didn't want to bother you"

  7. ah, grace...lots of love coming to you.

  8. so sorry to hear this
    sending best wishes to you and your family

  9. I'm sorry to hear he's unwell and I really hope that all is going well. Sending good vibes to you and yours.

  10. i don't like this story. :'(

  11. I'm sorry sweet cheeks. I will send some prayers to you and your family. xo

  12. I hope things improve. Parents suck at lying as much as children do.

  13. Going through daddy issues of my own, so I know where you're coming from. Lots of love to you, my dear. xox

  14. You guys are the best! I will tell him that he has a lot of people sending him well wishes from all over. xoxoxoxo

    P., sorry to hear it! Hugs and baby panda kissus to you, too! xx

  15. This is making me very sad :(

    (But on a perhaps inappropriate side note, deviating from the subject - beautiful writing.)

    Sending you my heartiest hug.

  16. i love you, gracie. hang in there, like a kitten.

  17. sigh. i get this all too well. and i'm sorry.

  18. oh goodness. sending you some strength, and hoping he gets well.

    ... and with Stop It Right Now, beautifully said. so vulnerable and tender.


  19. Oh I am so sorry. I send all my best to your mother and father. He must have been so happy to see you, whether he showed it or not. You're a lovely writer, I hope that is some comfort to you in all this. Sending you hugs and kisses little tough one.

  20. Rober&#39;to10/31/11, 9:16 PM

    You promised a story about your dad a month or 2 ago, but this isn't the story I was waiting for. I hope he improves & gets out of the hospital, and my prayers are ith both of you

  21. Roberto, I did??????? Where/when? I forget :(

  22. Rober&#39;to11/2/11, 11:38 PM

    I can't find a post saying that. Maybe I clicked on a link to another blog from your page & thought it was you. I guess I'll quit waiting for the story...

  23. I'm a little late to chime in here. I'm sending you blog friend love and support at this very second. I'm sorry you and your family are going through this right now. Good luck with everything and stay strong. <3


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