Last night I learned I am also an emotional eater. I got a call that pretty much just destroyed my will power. My pappy had a massive stroke and they don't know if he is going to make it.
I grew up in a pretty messed up family. My dad moved us across the country from the only people we knew to Georgia. That is where dad's family was from....and there were only three people I could count on to "keep me safe" from the insanity and abuse in this "new world". Thankfully one is my mom and she's still around. Granted, it took forever for her to get the courage to file for divorce, at least she was always there. One was my great granny, and it killed me when we put her in the ground back in 2001. She didn't do much, she was too feeble. But she would sit, listen, and give you tons of hugs and later yell at dad. And then there was Pappy.
My real dad was a real piece of....to be polite...work. Everyone knew it. Thankfully he was hardly ever home. But when he was, things were not pretty. Mom filed for divorce so many times, but he would always wear her down and she'd drop the suit. So it got to the point, when dad was home, I wasn't. I was running away, lying, pretty much doing anything to stay away from home.
Pappy knew the situation, but unless someone reported my dad, there was nothing he could do. When you are a kid and you hear the phrase, "If you think this is abuse, call the cops. When I get out, you'll learn what real abuse is," you tend not to make calls. Amazing what a power fear can be. In any case, Pappy was an ex-Navy SEAL and a cop. Huge man. 6 foot 7 and pure muscle. You don't mess with him. He was my dad's dad.
When Pappy first heard through the grape vine what was happening he high tailed it over to the house. He didn't argue. He didn't threaten. He didn't say a word. He looked at my dad and shook his head is disappointment, grab my sister's hand and mine, put us in the back of his patrol car, and left. Later that day, dad came over to claim us. The confrontation was outside. My dad did all the name calling and yelling. Pappy was cool, calm and collected when he told my dad that legally, there was nothing he could do to dad because he physically did not see the abuse and someone who had needed to report him, but to leave right then and there because morally, dad would not survive the day if he didn't. That day, Pappy's house became a safe haven.
Through the years, Pappy has been my go to place when things get to tough. He was always there. He was my rock, my comfort, my safety. When that call came in last night...the man who stood up to the biggest monster in my closet and defeated it...the man who can't be moved...my honest to God hero...I cannot explain the hurt in my heart right now. That call could have been about ANYONE else. But Pappy? MY Pappy?
All I can think is my Pappy, even if he survives (odds are against him) he will never be the man he once was again. Knowing him, that will kill him just as much as if he dies in the hospital over this. He is a strong man. But he is not strong enough to be weak. He just doesn't know how to be that person. He's the shelter, he's the safety, he's the caretaker. He doesn't know to be anything else. He's mentioned in the past that he CAN'T get to that stage in his life, he isn't mentally able. And now...he may have no choice. And it kills me that I can't make it all better for him like he did for me years ago. I can't be his hero. I can't return the favor. All I can do is be there for him. But he was so much more for me.
Heading to the hospital today...I have never felt so alone, scared, or little as I do right now. I've never felt so frightened. Never so helpless. God, how I love my pappy.