father

On Christmas Eve, my father had brain surgery, a quick procedure to drain a subdural hematoma.

Instead, we started 2018 wondering whether my father would be with us much longer.

Twelve hours after the hospital released Dad, he was back in the emergency room with stroke-like symptoms. The hospital helicoptered him to a superior stroke center in our capital city.

And we waited.

For the first week, Dad was strapped to the bed. Unconscious. Pumped full of anti-seizure drugs. Kept alive by a ventilator. Fed through a feeding tube.

Doctors and nurses came in every hour, trying to see what remained. More than once, they left with heads hanging. Seasoned medical professionals avoided our eyes. We stood vigil by his bed, buoyed by every squeeze of a hand or flutter of eyelids.

Two weeks passed. Dad was still out of it in ICU.

When he decided he had more life to live, he progressed like a hot shot. A clean swallow test was his final hurdle. Last Thursday, he headed to rehabilitation.

My father claims his goal is to do everything he once did.

I’ll keep you posted as he progresses.

I wasn’t ready to lose Dad. We still have more memories to make. His unmatched personality was missing in every conversation, along lonesome corridors, in too-quiet rooms. My mother vows she’ll never again tell Dad he’s talking too much. He can set the television volume as loud as he wants.

I’m sure he’s recording our every concession somewhere. Making us deliver will likely be enough to keep him breathing for a few more years.

Thank you for your calls, texts, messages, and cards. When Dad woke up, he was bowled over by how much he matters to you.

Don’t know my father? Get your copy of my NYT bestselling memoir Not Without My Father by CLICKING HERE.

possibilities

CONTINUED FROM LAST WEEK…..CLICK TEACHING DAD TO BE SQUARE BELOW THE LIKE BUTTON TO CATCH UP.

The best thing about memories…is making them.

And what could be more memorable
than teaching my eighty-something father
to use a Square credit card reader
on a smartphone?

Imagine the possibilities.

Possibility #1:

“Andra, I was trying to go through everything you showed me on Linda’s smartphone, but I dropped it in the toilet before I could remember how to turn the dang thing on.”

Possibility #2:

“Andra, I accidentally charged some guy ten thousand dollars for one of your books. I told him your writing really was that good, but he wasn’t convinced. Can you come and bail me out of jail?”

Possibility #3:

“I didn’t realize that smartphone had a camera. I don’t know how them naked photos of me and your mother wound up on the internet.”

*SHUDDER*

I couldn’t unleash the Dad-and-smartphone combo onto an unsuspecting world. NOBODY deserved memories they’d have to scrub from their brain.

I came up with a different plan, borne of memories from my childhood.

Dad used to carry a spiral-bound notepad everywhere he went. He scribbled contacts and phone numbers on every page, information he used to keep his plant stocked with wood. By the time he filled a notebook, the cover was gone and the corners were frayed from use.

The man knew how to use a notebook.

So I bought my father a present: a pack of spiral-bound notepads, only I made one alteration. On each page, I wrote out the information he’d need to get from each customer. I would process the sales from the information he obtained.

Not a foolproof plan, certainly, but one that might bring him success most of the time AND keep naked images of my parents OFF THE INTERNET.

———————-

This is part of a series of pictures about making memories. If you liked the story why not share it with your friends? Let’s meet on Facebook or Twitter. If you prefer pictures you will surely like my Instagram. I’ve collected inspirational things and more on Pinterest! Any comments? Write them below!

dad

Don’t leave a good time to chance. Experiences have to be woven with care and planning, like a tapestry. ~ Jim Rohn

The most frequent question I get at events?

How’s your dad?

Dad is a book-selling machine. I can no longer accuse him of having a recliner-tail or waiting to die. He gets up every day and accosts, I mean, persuades more people to buy my books….especially the Dad Book, his preferred name for Not Without My Father. 

His only problem? He can’t take credit cards.

But I had a plan. I called Mom to prepare her.

 

“I ordered Dad a Square credit card reader.”

“A what?”

“A credit card thing he can attach to a smartphone.”

Dad lumbered into view, his pajama top splayed open. “What’s a smartphone, huh?”

“See what I mean, Andra? Your daddy is hopeless with technology.”

I eyed Mom, a woman-of-a-certain-age who prides herself on her FaceTime savvy, her understanding of apps, and her hip usage of Emoji.

“Does your smartphone have BlueTooth?”

“Yes.”

(See, I didn’t even have to explain what BlueTooth is!)

“You can use the Square.”

“But I’m not with him when he’s selling.”

“Here’s your excuse to spend more quality time together.”

“Do you want us to stay married?”

I chewed my lip and relived every Mom-helping-Dad argument they ever had when I was growing up.

“I’m trying to get it in the hole, Linda. You’re not holding it in the right spot.”

“I put it right where you told me to.”

“No, I said here.” Dad grunted and strained. “Golly Molly, Linda. You still can’t get it right.”

“Fine. You hold your own flashlight and try to drill holes at the same time.”

I rubbed my hands over my face and sighed. I wanted to help Dad close more sales, but not at the expense of our fragile family sanity.

What could I do?

I decided to make this a good experience. I’m smart. I could divine a foolproof plan, right?

TO BE CONTINUED…..

———————-

This is part of a series of pictures about making memories. If you liked the story why not share it with your friends? Let’s meet on Facebook or Twitter. If you prefer pictures you will surely like my Instagram. I’ve collected inspirational things and more on Pinterest! Any comments? Write them below!