My dad is my hero.
Those of you who’ve been following Shift for a while may remember that my father is an orthopedic surgeon. He fixes bones. It’s a good job, and an important one, but what many people don’t realize is just how hard it is: My dad has NO IDEA how to sleep for eight hours.
Last weekend, he was on call*. It’d been a busy few days (call goes Thursday through Monday morning), and by Sunday afternoon he was ready for the weekend to be over. He was hoping the emergency room would stay quiet overnight, but, as usual, it didn’t. At around 10 p.m., as I was returning home from a bike ride, he passed me on his way to the hospital. A man with an ankle fracture and dislocation had been admitted to the E.R. He needed surgery, and it had to be done that night.
He didn’t return home until 3:30 a.m.
He left for work the next morning at 6:30.
He hasn’t stopped since. (This weekend — surprise, surprise — he is terribly sick.)
But my dad isn’t my hero because he’s a hard worker. My dad is my hero because of the note he left me that Monday morning:
Loved your last blog! Frank, honest, intense, thought-provoking . . . Hope you got some sleep. Am pretty tired this morning. So glad call is finished. Running late . . . gotta go. I’ll see you later today, and always remember . . . you are loved!!!
Never a thought for himself. The kindest man on the planet. Proud of his daughter despite the fact that, at 29, she’s living with him. Would do anything for the people he loves. Has friends everywhere. (More on this later.) Loves to be active. Thinks deeply. Tolerates his daughter vacuuming his apartment every day.
*Being “on call” means that, if someone is admitted to the emergency room and needs help, you’re the doctor they call!