Sunday, 16 June 2013

My Father's Hands

My father is a super-hero. Possibly wolverine, but if he hadn't had the adamantium thing. Or the claws. Okay, mostly I'm referring to his unbreakability. 

Dad has been in car accidents, he was hit by a train, he's fallen through ice more than once, survived a plane crash up north, and just generally rocked more situations I can count that literally had other people panicking and mentally saying goodbye to their loved ones. Dad is amazingly unflappable. He stays calm, does what needs to be done to make sure that he and everyone else in his care stay safe and unharmed. 

One of my favourite Dad-survival stories is the one about how he lost his pinkie finger. 

When I was about 7, we lived on a cattle ranch in the absolute middle of nowhere in Manitoba. One day, Dad was out in one of the back paddocks dealing with a bull. Said bull was not being co-operative in the slightest, but Dad managed to get a rope on him. He had the rope wrapped around his hand, which he later said he knew was a damnfool thing to do, but seemed to make sense at the time. Unfortunately, the damn thing then ran around a pole, creating a very useful pulley effect. One more heave from the bull and pop! off came Dad's pinkie. 

Of course, he was way far out in the paddocks and then had to drive himself all the way back to the house, with his hand out the window to keep it above his head and also to keep from bleeding all over the truck. 

I don't actually remember this day, but I do remember when he came back from the hospital and I saw that his finger was half-gone. I remember seeing his stitches and hearing the story and thinking "Wow. My dad's a super-hero."

And that's never changed. Dad recently had his shoulder replaced and my husband was way more worried about the surgery than I was. When he asked my why I wasn't worried about my dad having this fairly significant surgery, I stopped to really examine my feelings. They boiled down to this: I truly believe that my father is invincible. And I was pretty much proved right when the surgery went perfectly and, at his first recovery check-in, Dad was healing much faster and much better than the doctors were expecting (despite another run-in with a bloody cow, this one involving a wall). 

So there you have it.  Happy Father's Day, Dad. You're my hero.

1 comment:

  1. My lovely sister...
    When I read your mothers day post, I cried. In a good way of course, but I cried. You typed the words that resonated, but I didn't know how to say. It was a reminder of how lucky I am, and how happy I am to have the family I do.

    After a while I began to think about whose hands I have... Whether I had inherited either set of hands. Whose mine were most like. It was obvious to me that I didn't get the same ones as you; that they couldn't be Mums.
    My hands are covered in scars, burns, and callouses. I have lost proper nerve function in one from constant heat. My nails are chipped, grow funny and one banged up and blue. Every mark on them has a story, and usually a lesson learned the hard way. They are hands that see a great deal of use.
    Scrubbed clean, not perfect, but certainly trying.
    Your words made me appreciate all of this, gave me perspective, and helped me come to terms with some of the nastier scars. They are hands to get things done. They work. They accept the punishment of the work given to them.
    They are, I think, my fathers hands.
    In training.
    I can only hope to live up to the legacy that leaves them. Perhaps, if I try hard enough, they will be.
    Thank you, for the realization of all of this.