Tonight’s Super Bowl and other issues surrounding my life have me second guessing things that I have done and or haven’t done recently.

I’ve had to look at strengths in my life, my backbone, my family in crisis because of the recent hospitalization of the man who’ve I only seen cry four times in 38 years, my dad.

I’ve had to remember the last time I had to face something that feared me.

Grandma Horowitz was a teacher at Adelphi University and a Speech and Hearing center that she built from the ground up.  After some trouble she was given some drugs and I was going up to see her. My grandma was tall and strong. She knew nothing she couldn’t debate, or argue or reason out.  She was strength in not only my eyes, but my soul.

“Don’t be frightened Sean, for your Grandma looks a little different. Just remember why you love her,” my mom said as we walked into the house that she lived in with my Grandfather for over 40 years.

Gone was the tall, upright woman who knew now pain, knew no struggle that she couldn’t defeat.  The medicine to fix her eyes, had stolen her bone density as a side effect and a once tall woman did not stand.  A woman I could hardly recognize was in her place. A woman who struggled to stand, who once stood tall.

I had promised my mother that no matter what, I wouldn’t cry.

“All the kids know your strength Sean, they will follow your lead. If you don’t cry, they won’t. You have to be strong for your grandmother,” she said with a strong arm on my young shoulder.

While the other kids ran to her. I fell back.  Mom told me later that I stood strong and tall.

For a couple of minutes.

Then it started.

First, the bottom of my lip started to quiver.

Then a tear fell.

And I was done.

I was strong, when I needed to.  I ran to Grandfathers study and my stern Grandfather was there.

And I cried, I cried like the fawcets were all unleashed.

My Grandfather looked at me and his stern face fell.

“She’s still your Grandmother Sean, give her a kiss and tell her how much you love her,” he said as he handed me his handkerchief.  “I’ll go make some snacks. I’m so glad to see you (Grandfather’s nickname for me I’d put it here but then I’d never hear the end of it, and ONLY he could call me that).”

I went over and hugged my Grandmother, and she told me that she was ok.  She’s still ok, causing my mother grief in Hurst now. 

But I have that same fear.

I didn’t even think about it until tonight, when Mom called to tell me to hear Dad’s breathing which is uneven.  It could be the sign of yet another complication for my father.

And I’m going to be strong.

I’ve got my ticket to see him Friday Night and coming back Sunday Night.

In a way, I know he’s ok.  Mom says he’s ok.  Dad says he’s ok.

But in the back of my mind I’m second guessing them.

I’m thinking about the day when in my eyes, my Grandmother changed forever.

The door to my parents house will be the heaviest thing I will open all week.

For behind it lays my deepest joys.

And my deepest fears.