More than enough.

My father had eye surgery this past Tuesday. He had gotten on three car accidents this past year. When we finally brought up that he shouldn’t be driving, that’s when he told us he wasn’t able to see from one eye. He needed cataract surgery. It’s so strange to see my dad at this phase. He has been the mountain of our family and seeing him in these vulnerable phases puts things in perspective.

My father is one of the few people that see my son. He doesn’t see past him, he sees him. As soon as he gets to my home he will play wrestling matches with my monkey. He will ask for time outs so he can catch his breath but my son won’t let him rest. Everytime you wind the monkey up, he’s in full swing. My dad will wound him up, and can’t stop him. He will tell the monkey to wait, give him a minute. And that’s when the monkey will laugh and try to beat him at my dad’s game. It’s beautiful to watch.

There’s been a few times when he brings up my monkey. He’s nervous of what will his future be for him. I quickly stop him. I tell him that’s a rabbit hole I can not go into. The intense anxiety over the unknown is too much for me. I have realized the only way I can handle it is by making sure he’s ok, today. Tomorrow, well that’s another story. But I understand my father’s unease of what we can’t control.

My dad was an orphan at a very young age. A friend of a friend of a friend took my dad and my uncle in. This man had a ranch and they all had to work. He talks about being 5, 6 years old trying to bring in the cows. And how they were enormous beasts for two little boys. But how worth it was because they would get hot meals. And I think about what a different life it was for him. And how grateful I am that thru his hard work and preserverance, he gave me an opportunity to go to school, get a career, and have a family. How does one repay such a sacrifice?

A few years back we went to visit my parents. They live in an old mobile home. He has two older vehicles. They work great because he maintains them very well but they are older cars nonetheless. As we are pulling up I tell my husband how bad I feel that he lives in this house. We help them financially but it still hurts me to see them live in an older home. As we get there we see my dad outside with another man. He introduces him to us as an old childhood friend. The man shakes our hands and starts telling us how proud he is of my dad. “Look at what he has become!” he tells us. He opens his arms and starts looking at my parents place. He says, “You’re dad lives like a king! He has a beautiful house, two cars! Two!!! We wouldn’t have believed this story would ever come true when when we were kids! Who would have thought that’d you’d end up in your own wonderful kingdom!”

And that’s another lesson that I receive. It’s not about what you have, but about your perspective in how you see it.

My dad always tells me he struggles to understand my sons disability. He doesn’t know how to help him, or me. He will find out I have meetings and will tell me, “I can come over and help with the monkey while you work.” He wants to do anything he can to help us. Always asking if we are OK. Always asking me what else we need.

But he doesn’t understand that by simply loving us, that is more than enough.

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