Continuing my series of things that I have cut from my book but think you might like to read, here is the next part. I actually didn’t put the entire section up, because I think I’ve spent enough time on my blog fawning over my dad, but I wanted to share the second part of it with all of you. Basically, I wanted to put the emotion out there, and in my opinion that’s the real meat and potatoes of the entire thing. The raw, unfiltered emotions.
You can never go wrong with a strong emotional outburst.
Quote me on that.
My Father, My Hero
My father taught me other things as well, like how to get everything done quickly so that you can rock out later, and to analyze every story for its barest of components. He taught me that Babylon 5 was better than Star Trek because it was more realistic in it’s dystopian view of the future thanks to human nature, even if technology would side with Star Trek. He taught me that you can only cut so many corners before you end up with a round wall. He taught me that there is nothing you actually hide from the people who know you best, but good parents will let you think you’re getting away with it if it’s important.
My father taught me how to build closets, hang sheet rock and paint drywall. He taught me that with enough determination, you can teach yourself how to do anything from carpentry to physics. He taught me that knowing a skill is more important than knowing facts. He taught me that people who could think would be fine in this world, and would create their own opportunities.
Just a couple of years ago he taught me you can survive anything if you just keep putting one foot in front of the other.
From my father I learned how to play chess, appreciate a good story, recognize a tall tale, and tell one myself. My dad showed me how to tell the grade on a bolt, and the difference between a bolt and a screw. He also taught me how to swear, and that if I was going to have those kinds of magazines than I had better find a better hiding place or my mother or little brother might find them.
Late December, 2010, I found out that my father had woken up one morning blind in one eye. After several tests with several different doctors, they discovered that he had what is called a “mini-stroke.” They figured out that he had a genetic heart disease that caused the top half of his heart to pump faster than the bottom half. This caused a build up of blood in the lower half of his heart that could then send out potentially fatal clots. He had been lucky that it went to his eye and didn’t cause an aneurysm or hemorrhage somewhere more life threatening.
It was the first time in my life that I can ever remember thinking that my father was actually mortal. He had always been a superman in my mind, and I just knew that he would always be there, no matter what. The idea that he could have died really struck home inside me, and pushed me to examine my own life a little closer. There is a 50% chance that I also have this heart condition. I could also be a ticking time bomb. I don’t know for sure, I haven’t gotten the courage to go to the doctor and find out yet, and even then it is still very difficult to detect.
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