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Merry Christmas Daddy

It was December of my sixth grade year, five days before we got out for Christmas break. I was up getting ready for school and Dad was not gone yet. He always left before me in the mornings, out the door ready to help the sick by 7:30. My mom said he was sick throwing up. My Father is the type that will go to work regardless. Although he was throwing up in the bathroom, he was determined to go to work that morning. When the vomiting failed to stop, my mom convinced him to stay home. They went into the doctor’s office because my dad had been complaining of a horrible headache. My mom was extremely worried. The doctors ran a variety of tests on my dad, and he ended up having to spend the night in the hospital. My dad at the hospital, this wasn’t all that weird, he is a doctor and was always at the hospital. This time was different; he was the patient, not the doctor. The doctors said they saw there was a mass in his brain and they were not exactly sure what it was. To find out, he had to have brain surgery. He could die.

The Thought of my father dying was beyond me. I was only in sixth grade. My younger sister and I were so confused. Dad being sick and in the hospital was so foreign. He had to be home for Christmas right? My aunt and uncle and cousins are down for Christmas why isn’t dad here.

The date of the surgery was the day before we got out for winter break. My mom and her best friend were at the hospital. I came later in the day after the surgery, I saw them embraced crying. My mom told my sister and I that the surgery had gone well and that it was not a tumor but a blood clot. She explained to us they had to remove approximately a half of cup of brain and that he could have some brain damage, it was still so surreal. My dad was alive, that was all I wanted to hear.

When we finally we allowed to see my dad, I could have sworn it wasn’t him. My dad didn’t have half a shaved head, with the left side of his face droopy. He had thick brown wavy hair, bright brown eyes, and the happiest smile anyone could have. Dad did not quite recognize my sister and I. He knew our names but it didn’t seem as though he knew we were his children. All I really wanted to do was to run over to my dad and jump up into his arms for a big hug like always. I knew that I could not do that. My dad had so many cords attached to him that if I had jumped, I would have unplugged them all. He was so groggy. My dad always knew everyone and everything. Why wasn’t he in control here? He was always in control. I had no idea how to talk or act around him. It was as though I knew more than he did; this had never been the case.

A few weeks went by, Christmas arrived and Dad was still in the recovery room at the hospital. He had Spent Christmas in the there. We brought him some of his favorite holiday food and hung out with him in the room. Merry Christmas dad.

My sixth grade Christmas had to have been my worst ever. My dad almost died. The following year was one of the best years of my life. My dad had recovered almost fully. He had pushed himself through recovery until he was back to normal. Although he has a half a cup less brain than most people, and is still one of the smartest and talented people I know. He is an amazing person and I am so glad that he is alive!