If I Had a Million Dollars

Before I fall asleep, my mind wanders.  Everything that's floated through my brain at some point during the day does a repeat; just in case I forget something.

Like forgetting how flat my pillow is until my head hits it. If I had a million dollars; my first purchase would be a really nice pillow and then every month I could replace that pillow and it would be perpetually fluffy and I wouldn't feel my mattress through it.
The pillow would feel like clouds and sleep would actually provide rest.
Buy what you want with a million dollars; I want sleep.


One word

Today it swims through my mind, how to make it real and not just a word.


My Dad's the Strongest Dad

This isn't a very funny post....it's heavy; and not in an extra 5lb ankle weight kind. It's more like a tank of emotion and sentiment.
Every little girl believes her dad is the strongest man in the world. When I was in like the second grade we had this presentation we put on for our parents. The presentations was full of pictures (I held that sign for the tongue) and lots of songs. One song was dedicated to our dads. I remember singing so loud that the song sounded more like a war cry, meant to challenge any of my classmates.  "My dad's the strongest dad!"
And I believed it with all my heart.
You know those childhood fights you have with your friends where you start out with "I'll beat you up if you don't come over" and the fight escalates to "my brother can beat up your brother". I knew my secret weapon, "My dad's bigger than yours and stronger and he can beat up your dad. Neener Neener Neener." (Or something like that) and usually the fight ended because my friends had seen my dad.
Now my dad stands tall at 6' 4"; and he is bigger than a lot of dads.  I'd never seen him yell or fight anyone, but I knew he would do it for me and he would win.  He was strong enough to shovel the whole walk without complaining and nail hundreds of boards together for my mom.  I knew that he could lift me up with one hand and when those horrible monsters came calling, he would be there to fight them off.
I could tell hundreds of stories about my dad and I admit circumstances bring these to mind. I'm sorry if things get a little sentimental.
My dad has terminal esophageal cancer. Right now he's sedated in a sheet protected plastic hospital bed: more than sixteen drug machines ticking behind his head, countless tubes threaded into his throat and arm, and his hands tied to his bed like a mental patient (to discourage him from pulling out all of the "accessories").
I first time I walked into the painfully white hospital room at the I.C.U.; the sound of a respirator was banging louder than I wanted to talk.
My sister in law and I leaned in and I talked as loud as I could without screaming, "It's good to see you awake. I know how you like to sleep."  His shadowed eyes focused on me and he nodded earnestly. 
He was responsive and alert, but I can't shake that feeling--that knowledge that I'd been fighting for the last year.
Where is my dad?  It's been years since he was strong enough to even life a shovel with both hands.  The wood shop sits vacant and dusted over with wood shavings like an old ghost town.My dad certainly couldn't pick me up now although with all the weight he's lost, I'm sure I could lift him. Those monsters from childhood have been replaced with new monsters that my family is far too familiar with.  That doubt, those questions and weakness.  Yet, there he is.  My dad? He's the strongest dad.
While others are arguing with their wives about baloney sandwiches or slaughtering weeds from their garden; my dad is and will be fighting for his life every day.



Sometimes you see things a certain way. When something life changing sits before you, precariously balancing on someone else's shoulders.  Those moments when all you can do is wait for the choice that's so casually used in films. The next two days may define your life forever.
It's like that scary moment of standing at the foot of your stairs in the dark basement and the switch isn't working because someone's left it at the half way point down the hall. Your gut is clenching and you don't want to walk in there, but you can't wait until daylight or a flashlight comes around.
It's not daylight, but there are some flashlights out there: like Cameron's contagious giggle that catches faster than a rhyming pop song.