This is my Dad. He has a very deep voice, a stubborn attitude, ridiculously curly eyebrows (that have been genetically passed on to me) and a furiously wicked sense of humour.
He scared the bejeezus out of us all a week ago by announcing (after heading off to Melbourne for some fairly routine tests)that he would immediately be undergoing six hours of surgery for a double bypass and to have a heart valve replaced at the same time. My mum stayed alone in a cheap hostel not knowing a soul in town while all this was carried out and recovery set in. People were very kind to her all over the place and she now LOVES Melbourne, which as she pointed out, is fairly suprising for a Sydney gal like her.
I flew over to keep Mum company for a couple of days and to visit him earlier this week. The greyish, bedridden chap I was expecting to see 3 days past the surgery was instead a frisky fella sneaking out of his physio and doing a little pixie dance up behind me. I was so relieved to see him looking good. He was released on Thusrday (a week on) and he and Mum flew back here, spent a night and then drove back to Turners Beach at the other end of the state yesterday. He is still tired and his torso is still very bruised and muscle-sore. There are large wounds (obviously) too but it’s all healing well.
The resilience of a man in his early 70’s is really heartening. His recovery is visibly marked in his comfort levels and demeanour day-by-day.
He will return for another arterial bypass (abdomen to leg) in about 6 weeks but things are looking good and of course that will be not quite as serious a venture.
His new heart valve came from a cow. I now want to burn him a copy of Trout Mask Replica but Dad is a jazz guy and I think Beefy’s gravelly rumblings will just give him the shits.