Not all superheros fly through the sky using super powers to fight crime or evil. I believe a hero is somebody that can be inspirational and give you hope in bleak situations. My superhero is my dad.
People from all walks of life experience trials and tribulations that test faith, beliefs, and love. My dad is the most resilient man that I have ever known. He has suffered severe allergic reactions, motor vehicle accidents, tuberculosis, a severe head injury, and leukemia. He overcame all of those situations. I’m beginning to believe that this man has nine lives.
In March 1992, I was in the Navy stationed at Camp Pendleton. While the weather was nice and sunny in California, the weather in Southern New Mexico was cold, cloudy, and windy. I knew my family was moving into a new home and I only wished I could be there to help them and enjoy the feeling of moving into a new home.
I arrived to my barracks after standing duty and that was when I received an emergency phone call. It was my mother. She was calling to let me know that while they were moving to their new home, my dad was knocked off the back of the moving truck. He was severely injured. A gust of wind knocked him off the truck and he as he fell, he hit is head on the metal bumper. He landed in a large puddle of cold water. His outcome looked grim.
As soon as I got back home, I rushed to the hospital to see him. He had just gone through surgery to relieve the pressure in the brain. The brain surgeon came out and explained in simple terms that he had a skull fracture and several clots in the brain. The next several hours would be critical to determine if he would survive. We were given permission to see him.
My heart sank when I saw him lying in the hospital bed with tubes and wires all over him. He was bandaged like a mummy. My eyes filled with tears as I couldn’t believe that that was the man that had raised me. I couldn’t remember what my last conversation with him was. By the way he looked; I didn’t think I would get the chance to say I love you and thank you for being my dad.
He managed to survive the next 24 hours and as if by a miracle, he just started immediately to recover. By the end of the week, he was beginning to come back. We were all amazed and I can only describe his determination as an inner will to survive. The doctors explained to us that this type of injury will require intense therapy to recovery and it was unknown how much of his brain lost basic functions. We could only hope for the best.
I spent two weeks at home and I had to return to my duty station. I remember vividly entering his intensive care room to let him know I was leaving. He was sitting up and conscious. He couldn’t speak but he knew who we were and was apparently coherent to his surroundings. As I told him I would come back as soon as I could and he looked at me as if he wanted say, “Don’t worry, I’ll be fine”. I cried as I left.
I knew my dad was going to be going through a lot the next couple of weeks and months as started the road to recovery. When I came back home three months later, he was walking, talking, and doing remarkably well. I couldn’t believe that just three months ago my family didn’t know if he was going to live or die. We all got another chance to enjoy each other as a family.
Looking back on that experience, it was a terrible ordeal but my family managed to support each other in a time of need. My dad fully recovered. He truly has given me examples of how powerful a person’s inner self is. I can only hope that whatever life dishes out to me that I am resilient as he is. He is my superhero.