Sunday, April 27, 2014

A Coke & a Playboy

When I had my oldest son, there were complications. We discovered a couple days after he was born that I was loaded with gallstones. I had thought my gallstone attacks during the pregnancy were crazy heartburn. Realized, they weren't. The attacks got progressively worse after Andrew joined the world. So, one month later, I went back to the hospital for surgery. When I woke up post-op, I was told I had also had a herniated belly button, so they fixed it while I was under. No biggie, just don't lift anything over ten pounds for six weeks. Cool. One problem. Andrew was already over ten pounds. So, now what?

Enter the great-grandparents, my grandparents. I don't really know what I would've done without them. They said this was no problem. Once I arrived back home, (I ended up staying for five days at the oh so glamorous Rush North Shore), they took over. Mondays thru Fridays, from 6am until roughly 630pm, they were at my house. Every. Single. Day. For. Six. Weeks. My Bubby was not going to let me lift Andrew and disrupt my recovery. She took care of him. She took care of me. She cooked, she washed dishes, she fed him, she fed me, she fed Papa, her chauffeur. Bubby didn't drive. Papa would not only drive her to my house, but he sat with us all day, every day.

Bubby & Papa had a long marriage, 55+ years.  Something they did worked. Back then, if something wasn't working, you fixed it, you didn't discard it. (They were strong. They suffered tragedy and loss, sickness & health, good times & bad.) Or, in this case, she'd keep yelling. He'd let it go in one ear and out the other , until he couldn't take anymore, and he'd yell one thing back. That was it.  Then, she would just talk to herself for a while. This was always the way it went. Except for this one time...

During my six week hiatus from lifting, New Years Eve happened to fall. My husband and I were invited out with friends. We weren't going to go. My brother and sister offered to babysit and sleepover. (They were 13 and 10 at the time.)  We said ok. (Maybe not a brilliant move, in retrospect.). Bubby got wind of this and flipped her shit. (At least someone was thinking clearly.). She said she and Papa would babysit. I felt badly as they were babysitting daily. She said it was fine. (She never said no to me. Ever. She did anything and everything for me, always.) They'd  just "supervise" my brother and sister. So, they all arrived. We left. We came home right after midnight to discover the funniest Papa story. Ever.

During our evening out, the peeps at my house were having their own NYE celebration. And, during this time, Papa wanted some pop. Bubby said no. Apparently words were had. And, he decided, he was putting his foot down this time. He took a can of Coke into my powder room, the bathroom my husband did his quality reading in, and decided to celebrate NYE the way he wanted. Papa enjoyed his can of Coke and a Playboy in peace. This was a ballsy move, Coke. Bubby had said no, and he did it anyway. You didn't fight Flo. But, he did.

Yesterday would've been Papa's 97th birthday. He was a brilliant man who loved history. He would sit and discuss it for hours. He was such a strikingly handsome man in his youth. One thing I'll never forget is that he taught me when you're gas tank in your car reaches half a tank, fill it. Consider it empty. That way, you'll never run low. To this day, I still do. I feel so blessed to have had him and even more so that all of my boys got to know him and spend time with him.

I hope he had a wonderful birthday, wherever he may be in the great after life, celebrating with all who are with him. More importantly, I hope he got to have a Coke and a Playboy.

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