More on the Dad Story
I left out in our first installment that my father was diagnosed with heart disease at 36 years of age. At the time, the doctors told him there wasn't anything they could do for him. He should just continue to take his medication and take it easy. Being 36, this didn't sit well with my dad. He did some research and found Dr. Co*oley in Texas to perform a bypass. So my dad had his first bypass at 36 years of age. His second bypass came at 45. He's had a number of angiographies and angioplasties throughout the years.
After I began talking to my dad again, he called in 1999 to tell me he would need a stent placed in one of his cardiac arteries. Upon hearing this, I offered my company immediately. He was fairly taken aback, because he was calling to ask my advice if he should ask my mom to join him for the trip to California for the surgery. After listening to my mom spew horrendous muck about him for the past year, I thought that might not be the best idea. So off to CA we went. On the plane, he divulged two items of information to me: he showed me a picture of a handsome man he had been seeing who was also a deacon, and that he was planning on being ordained a priest, having been a deacon since 1987. I was happy for him on both counts and let him know. Sensitive guy my dad is, his eyes welled with tears. He told me he was worried about my mom finding out he was going to become a priest because it was something he felt so strongly about, and he knew she had a tendency to slander. Because I didn't trust my mother either, I didn't share that info with her. As for his beau, D was someone who he met at church after my dad moved from NY. He is a sweet, kind, loving man, who has an unsettling tendency to never throw anything out. We love him and consider him a part of our family. In fact, we asked him (once he was ordained a priest), to perform our wedding ceremony. We couldn't ask my dad - he would have cried throughout the ceremony, which he did anyway. I thought it was endearing!
My father now has his own church, his own apartment and is still together with his partner. I've never heard him sound so happy and relaxed, and he is a constant source of support and comfort to me. We talk on the phone several times a week, and we're going to see him this weekend. Bless his heart, he reminds me to go to church, even though he knows we're spiritual but not religious.
My dad says he would like to be called "Grand-pop", which s just fine. D is still thinking about what he would like to be called. e decided to call my aunt Gramma, and her partner would like to be called "Unchi" (oon-chee), which is Sioux for grandmother. I think that's the cutest name ever! I love that. (She's not Sioux, but has studied the culture and language).
So that's my dad's tale. There are lots of little horrific anecdotes from his childhood, but I guess that's it for now.
Stay tuned! I'll return with more on the little wee chipmunk (who is 11 weeks and 3 days today)!