I awoke from a most deep and peaceful sleep, only to argue with the sun beginning to pry its way into my bedroom. As I realized my surroundings, I knew it was Sunday and Father's Day.
I didn't even think.
I rolled from the bed, went to the bathroom and brushed my teeth.
I hurriedly dressed and jumped into my car.
I had a destination in mind...
I whipped into that drive-thru at 6:30 in the morning and ordered donuts and milk.
As I continued on my journey, it occurred to me that they may not even let me in...
Surely, there must be rules about visiting times, but I had never seen it, so...
I continued on.
I had my donuts and my milk and I just kept driving.
I arrived just before full daylight and found the place asleep.
As I walked back into the "C Wing", I wondered if I had made a huge mistake.
He may be sleeping...
He may be in the tub...
He may have been 10,000 things, and none of them included me.
Instead, what I found was his devoted aide sitting beside him, just chatting with him.
I insisted that she not leave, but with my being there, she wanted me to visit and she left.
There he was...
The most beautiful man on earth...
Lying there, half asleep.
"Whatcha' doin', PawPaw?" I quizzed him.
I knew the answer. I was just waiting on him to say it.
"Not much. Just sittin' on my can-can. It's a good job, but it doesn't pay too much."
"Yeah, but there's job security in that, right?" I asked him.
"There sh-ore is that, baby."
And, so, he and I sat and talked as the rest of the world slept.
We talked about the peach cobbler I was making that day, and he told me to put an egg in the batter if I wanted it fluffy...
But to leave it out if I didn't.
Somewhere in the conversation, he asked me, "How is your sunburn, baby?"
"Ah, it's getting better. I'm pretty good now, PawPaw."
"Your mama didn't even tell me you had that until yesterday," he said, frustrated.
"Well, I wasn't sick. I was just miserable for a day. I'm fine now."
"I know!, he exclaimed, "But if she'd told me sooner, I could have told you how to get rid of it."
He went on to tell me that mouthwash will cure a sunburn in a second. Next time, I should remember to put mouthwash on my burn.
"I'll do that, Pop." I assured him, and he was ok with that.
We sat in a comfortable silence for a second, when he told me, "I want to get me about a pound of lead and a line of fishing wire."
"You do? Why?" I asked.
"I'm thinking that if I could make a thousand pieces of pounded lead and attach them to string I could sell them over the internet..." He trailed for a second.
"The internet? How much does that cost?" He quizzed.
"Well, it's really free." I told him.
Then I continued on, "Unless you're selling something. Then, I think EBay will let you sell things for a cut. Why?"
"Because if I can pound out 1,000 pieces of lead and attach them to strings to cure poison ivy, and if we sold them at $100 each, that's $100,000."
"Your math is good, PawPaw. That is right." I told him.
"That's what I thought." He was satisfied with my answer.
His breakfast came in, and he and I discussed everything he could imagine as I fed him eggs and bacon.
I left, promising I'd get him a piece of peach cobbler up there the next day...
And, I did just that.
I sent it with my mother on Tuesday...
I miss him.
His mind, at one time so quick and sure, is today...
Still quick and sure...
Just not always right.
I always let him be right.
It's just easier, and in his mind, when I ask him advice...
He is still being my dad.
Yesterday, I ran by to see him in all the confusion with my mother.
I realized he'd been by himself for two days, and my heart was breaking at the thought.
I ran down the hall of the nursing home to find him...
And, there he was...
At the patient telephone...
Leaving a message for my mother.
Telling her, "I guess you must be somewhere, so call me later."
I sneaked up behind him, "Hey, sweetheart!"
"Come around here and let me look at you," he commanded.
Before I could say anything, he went on, "I was about to call you and tell you that on that cobbler, if you're using fresh peaches, you need to add a cup of sugar to them and boil them for a minute."
"It was a little tart, wasn't it?"
"Yeah, but you'll do better next time."
He wishes he could be there...
But he can't.
Yeah, PawPaw, about yay big, and around and around and around...