The date is June 20, 1967. One of my prized possessions is a letter written by my dad when I was 15 months old. He was away for two months studying at Sonoma State and he says, “I know I’ll be very proud of you and all your achievements” and he ends the letter with, “Daddy has to go now. I’ll see you soon.” Today, I read the letter to my daughter and got a little quiver to my chin and some tears in my eyes.
I had another “dad” also. He had a wicked sense of humor, a sparkle in his eyes and a deep love for his family. He was also the one that caught me cutting school the only time that I did and gave me the option to tell my parents or he would tell them. There was no sweet talking myself out of that one! He was also one of my high school teachers and a great friend to my family. Today would have been his 83rd birthday. He is also Power’s dad.
As today was progressing, there was an electrical outage in town. I had to get out of the house – not sure when the air conditioning would be back on. Stifling heat. Driving – trying to stay cool. I was just thinking - processing the events of this last year. Thinking about the pride that I have for Power and all the struggles that she has gone through with her quadriplegia.
She had sent me videos of her achievements with her trainer, David, and, when I am frustrated, I think of Power’s example and her perspective. My hip woes of this past year are a mere fraction of the challenges she faces on a daily basis. I was also chatting with another patient today who is early on in her post-op recovery and I tried to encourage her (and myself) to believe that, in the grand scheme of things, this recovery will be a blip on our life’s radar.
And then a song came on the radio. Not knowing the background of this song, I thought if Power could sing (which she can’t), she would sing this to her dad. You see, her dad was also very proud of her achievements and would have agreed with the moniker that I have given her.
Her voice would have told him,
“I keep fighting voices in my mind that say I'm not enough
Every single lie that tells me I will never measure up
Am I more than just the sum of every high and every low?
Remind me once again just who I am, because I need to know
You say I am loved when I can't feel a thing
You say I am strong when I think I am weak
You say I am held when I am falling short"
So, Power, your accomplishments have been noticed. Keep your chin up and your strength! Know that you are an inspiration to this Hopeful Hippie and my hips don't lie!