Our fathers have always been the pillar of strength in our lives. We see them work hard, day in and day out; selling their time and efforts in exchange for the life they give us, never asking anything in return. We keep taking them for granted, and until this pillar is shaken, we don’t realize the real strength that they are.
After my father woke up from his coma, after his brain hemorrhage, we found out that he was completely paralyzed on the right side. The doctor told us it would take months of physiotherapy to help him recover, but he would never be able to completely work as he used to before. At that moment, we were only thankful that he was alive.
A few days later, he was discharged and we took him home. This is when be slowly began to realize, that our pillar of strength was now fragile. It became painful to see him struggle to eat, walk, use the washroom, clothe by himself. We helped him, but it also mentally broke him.
The physiotherapy sessions at home were as difficult. It was like dropping a child to kindergarten on his first day. There would be force from the physiotherapist and cries from dad, while mom tried to reason with him. This became a daily routine, breaking in further.
A few months later, dad began to walk again, and learnt to use his left hand to eat by himself again. This made us as happy as when a baby takes his first steps. We had our highs and lows, and finally we reached equilibrium of his progress and our expectations.
Yesterday afternoon, the TV refused to work. I tried everything, hitting the remote, hitting the screen, unplugging and plugging the wires, but nothing seemed to help, so I decided to siesta instead. When I woke up, I see my dad holding a screwdriver, and the TV completely taken apart. I stare at him, not saying a word, as he continues to meddle with the parts, tightening a few wires, and finally puts it all back together.
The TV is plugged in, and switched on, and the screen lights up! I run up to him and give him a hug.
“Thank you,” I say, kissing him on the cheek, something that I hadn’t said or done in a long time.
And it was at this moment that I was reminded that my pillar of strength was back up.