Hey you guys! What the heck is up!?
I hope your holidays were merry and that you have many exciting plans for New Year’s Eve, hopefully they involve wearing something with sequins and kissing all the boys!
My Christmas was wonderful! There was a fire going in the fireplace every night, lots of generosity all around in terms of gifts and hugs and heartwarming chats and my grandmother only made one or two racist jokes at the dinner table instead of her usual six or seven. SUCCESS, DUDES. I’ll take it where I can get it.
I am flying down to Chapel Hill, North Carolina this morning to spend New Year’s Eve with my favoritest person in the whole world who happens to be my boyfriend which makes me the luckiest.
SPEAKING OF FAVORITE PEOPLE. It’s my other favoritest person in the world’s birthday today.
My father turns 67 years old today which is just too old if you ask me. (GIVE ME A GRANDCHILD, my mother screams at me in the background.)
One year ago, my father finally received his final hip surgery at the Hospital for Special Surgery in NYC. After nine months in a wheelchair, in constant pain and frustration, everything started to turn around. A year ago today, my dad began again. New hip, recovery, re-learning how to walk. He started all over.
A year later, the man has barely a limp. He spends all afternoon raking leaves on the hill in the backyard. He joined a gym for the first time in his life and goes religiously three times a week, still rehabilitating his body with the exercises he learned in months and months of physical therapy. He drives, he can shower and dress himself, he goes up and down stairs, he is the dad we all remember. Taking out the garbage, going for long walks, doing ridiculous dances in the kitchen for no reason.
But he’s different of course.
My dad’s emotions are more raw, I think and the way he views the world will probably never be the same again. He knows how lucky he is. He has been incredibly humbled by his experiences and sees beauty and God in all of it which is absolutely miraculous to me.
The other night before dinner, dad volunteered to say grace. He talked about being sent to South Korea when he was in the army, an engineer in charge of building bridges. He was warned that the river’s current often changed direction and to build accordingly as the last engineer’s work had been washed away as soon as the tide turned the other way. (**By the way, thumbs up for the US Army, right? Some guy built a bridge incorrectly so it just UP AND WASHED AWAY!? I digress.)
Dad recalled laying in his hospital bed last year with a beautiful view of the East River. Every day he spent hours in bed, watching the current and he noted that it too often changed direction.
This is life, he said, close to tears at the dinner table. Things change for us, sometimes overnight and we rarely know why. All we can do is go with it. Follow the current until it turns again.
And all the good people around us?
They are our life rafts for when the water gets too choppy.
So, happy birthday to my sweet, sweet father. I apologize publicly on my blog for making so much fun of your accent over the past week. You have to understand that I imitate it because I love it.
Because I love you.
BECAWSE I LOVE YA, YA CRAZY POLACK.
Here is a picture of my dad from a few months back with my sister, the first time he was able to bend down and put his sock on which ended up being the hardest piece of the puzzle after surgery with a new hip. (WHO KNEW?)
Dr. Dlug is a rockstar.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD!
And Happy New Year everyone! I’ll be back in 2012 with a lot to say! YEAH YOU GUYS!