He carried me to bed for as long as I can remember. Even when I was too big, to otall to be carried. With my toes barely brushing the floor, I was still safe in his arms being carried by my daddy. After a prayer, he would look at me with love and affection like I was his prize, tell me he loved me and gently turn and walk out of my bedroom.
As soon as I would wake up the next morning, his face would be the first I see. Sometimes it was mom, but often it was him. Awake, happy to start his day as a mechanic that everyone new and loved, but I knew there was no where he'd rather be than at home with me.
Today, it's six am on a Saturday. I just made the hour trek from my home with Brad to my parents home so my mom could go to the market to sell her baked goods for extra money; honestly, that's her cover - the truth is so she can go to the market and socialize with everyone from town and a much needed break from the constant care she gives my father. I'm here because dad can't be left alone. The electricity is out on this almost fall-like day because of a storm that not only washed out my parents gravel driveway (if you're from the country you know what I mean) but made my drive a little more prayerful than I'd like.
He's asleep. I'm in the living room, the closest room to him, listening to him breathe, wondering how in the world my mom has collected SO MANY antiques as I look around. Nervously I listening to every snore because if I hear the bed crackle at all, I'll be there to make sure he doesn't fall. To make sure he doesn't need me. Like he did for me all those years ago.
The tables have turned. And here I sit, listening for dad. When he wakes up, I'll help him to the table and make his cereal; just like he did for me. And then we'll make our way to the den. He, walking in front. Me, holding tight to his belt loops praying his gait that Parkinson's stole will hold him steady and my hands and body will be the fortress that he needs to get him there. Then we will sit. Look at each other. He'll smile at me a lot and ask me sweet questions like, "How's Brad?" "Where's Brad?" "How's your car doing?" "Have you changed the oil lately." "Need me to go check it out for you." And I'll gladly answer them all. He'll mainly ask about Brad. He loves him, especially.
Its a sweet morning. It's a good morning. I'm right where I need to me.
*this was written two weeks ago on a Saturday from my phone.**