Tom returned to Fort Worth on Sunday afternoon, so James and I talked about working out a schedule. I also had to go back to work on Monday August 23rd. Returning home that night, I was so thankful that one of my best friends, Debbie was helping me take care of the animals. Emily, my oldest daughter would be back in town soon and had offered to do the evening feedings for us. I am not sure what we would have done without them!
I was on early shift that first Monday back to work, which meant that the alarm clock went off at a despicable 4:30am. It takes me an hour to get to work, but in order to be time-safe, I leave 90 minutes before my start time of 7 AM. I only recently noticed just how long the drive is though .. You see, about 2 months ago, I had my car serviced. Don bought me a fancy stereo for my car. It is one that has a anti theft property - where the face of the device can be removed. Being safe, I did just that. It took about 4 days before I got my repaired car back...and for the life of me... I CANNOT FIND WHERE I PUT THE DAG BLASTED STEREO!!! It is so aggravating too.. I just hate to lose things and everything has been so crazy lately, I have not even had to time to dedicate to trying to locate it! So - to sum this up... unless I am praying or singing out loud in my car... it is awfully quiet for that hour commute!
James has been staying with Dad during the day and I go straight from work to the hospital to relieve him in the evenings. I thought that he was coming and going during the daytime, but recently discovered that he has been staying with him all day. His law firm must be very accommodating for family situations!
Anyway - an interesting thing happened. Dad was still all hooked up to all kinds of monitors and medications, but he seemed more alert. He was sitting up in his chair. He started to talk. It was not just general conversation.. but more like reflecting. He talked for hours... and I was right beside him taking notes!
"You know Julie, sometimes white lies are a good thing." he started..
Oh my God, I thought... this is going to be good..
"When I first dated your Mother, we were talking about all kinds of things and one thing I mentioned is how much I hated the smell of cigarette smoke. I think I actually told her that I did not think I could marry a woman who smoked. Obviously I assumed that she was not a smoker or I would not have even asked her out. It was not for many years, but I found out that when she excused her self to go to the bathroom, she actually emptied her purse of her cigarettes and lighter...and never smoked again!" he laughed as he looked out the window.
"When we met, my first thought was how beautiful she was. She was working as a lab tech. I was then a Neurosurgery resident. When we started to date, the other nurses were mad at me because they thought that I should only date nurses. They had no idea how intelligent your Mother was. Did you know that she received a full schollarship to go to college, but her Father told her it was senseless to educate a woman and refused to even help pay for books and room. She easily could have been a doctor. She even tried to work and go to school, but could not make ends meet. She sang with a big band too. Did you know that?"
"Yes Dad, she did tell me about her Father and about the band, but I had no idea that she smoked!"
"Well," he continued. "It was a fashionable thing back then. We had no idea just how dangerous it was. I just hated the smell." he hesitated before continuing. "We dated about 2 years before we married. I am not too much of a romantic. We were just walking along and I looked at her and said, 'I think we should get married.' and she agreed with me. Your Grandfather designed her first wedding ring. She liked your Grandfather, but Gammie (my Grandmother) not so much. Gammie wanted me to marry a rich girl from River Oaks."
"yes - I know there was a lot of tension between them, even after I came along." I said nodding yes.
This was but one of many many stories Dad shared with me that evening.