I got Mom’s text two days before Christmas. “I’m taking your daddy to urgent care.”

Not the emergency room. Urgent care for a man who couldn’t walk and slurred his speech. He didn’t want to know if he was having a stroke.

The urgent care folks sent him straight to the ER. A CT scan later, Dad was admitted to the ICU with an acute subdural hematoma. He spent Christmas in Intensive Care.

Apparently, he hit his head years ago, causing what should’ve been a debilitating surface clot. But Dad is Dad, the walking, talking, book-selling miracle. When the old area started leaking, he suffered reduced motor skills.

On Christmas Eve, doctors opened his skull and drained the fluid. And within 48 hours, he was receiving guests, cracking jokes, and regaling everyone about the hole in his head.

Hard-headedness is classic Watkins. Dad overdid it with his audience, sprung a new leak, and was rushed back to ICU for observation.

He’s back in a regular hospital room now. Telling stories. Flashing the nurses. And eager to be back in his comfy recliner.

We got our Christmas miracle.

Dad and I are closer now than we ever were due to our time on the Natchez Trace. Read all about it in “Not Without My Father” or -as he calls it – “The Dad Book.”

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