Friday, October 16, 2009
Allow me to introduce my Papa to you. Papa is a superhero.
25 years ago, my mother married my stepdad, after being a widow for 8 years. During those 8 years, life was always just my mom and me. It was always calm and quiet. Yet, I longed for a family. I longed for a daddy. I longed for a grandma and grandpa. When she got married, I got all of that. Plus more.
My first Christmas with the new family was huge in every way. I still remember so much about it. Previously, Christmas' were just mom and me in our little 15 by 15 living room, in our little apartment. But that Christmas..... was huge. And although it was all that I had ever wanted, I was overwhelmed.
There were 15 people there. 15! I don't even think our old apartment could have fit 15 people in the whole place, let alone the living room. The house was huge. There were 4 other kids running around. It was too much too fast. But Papa must have known that. He picked me up, put me on his lap, and hugged me the whole day. Papa is a superhero.
Since then, I have left Papa's lap. But, his lap is always full of children. At Christmas, you can count on finding Papa in the living room, on the couch, with at least one child on his lap. In the last 25 years, our family has grown and we now have 9 little-ones (Great-grandchildren). Papa is a superhero.
A few months before I got married, Papa was diagnosed with cancer. Skin cancer on his head. Did that stop him from attending my cousin's wedding outside, or my wedding outside? Nope. He just put on a sweet hat and looked very dapper. Superheroes wear hats.
Since that summer, seven years ago, Papa has been diagnosed with cancer time and time again. Every time in a different place. Each time a different type of cancer. This week, he has just been diagnosed with cancer for the seventh time. His attitude is one of hope, and faith, and gratefulness for each day he has had so far. Even heroes get cancer. It's their attitude that makes them super.
This Christmas, I'm gonna make sure I get my turn to sit on Papa's lap. Because Papa is a superhero.