To celebrate, my family all went out to our favorite Italian restaurant, La Trattoria in Brooklyn. It is a place where I grew up, with countless memories and a wonderful friendship with the owner, Paul.
Today was the first time since my father's foot and leg problem started a year and a half ago that he rode in our van. Today was the first time since 15+ surgeries and countless worries, crying spells, and hopes that he wouldn't lose a leg, or praying that he made it through another operation, that we all went out as a family and enjoyed each other's presence outside of our apartment or a hospital room.
Today was a day for celebration. And celebrate we did. My mom got drunk off of two pina coladas (with Midori watermelon liqueur for an added layer of flavor). My father drunk a good glass of wine, and relished it. I sat next to my father, telling him stories, and just downright enjoying being out with him. My little brother rambled on and on and on and bickered with his girlfriend. It was lovely.
I came to the apartment bearing presents. For my father, in honor of my mother's two bouts with breast cancer, I brought him a set of breasts from the Museum of Sex. For my mother, an anatomically correct leathered-up Master Billy doll to add to her doll and stuffed animal collection, that I bought from the Leather Pride Night auction. All my friends thought I was crazy to buy them for my folks. Ah... but they don't know my folks like I do.
The apartment was filled with laughter. The gifts were a grand slam.
A year and a half ago, I was scared out of my mind. There was a 90% chance that my father would lose his leg. He was given a 50/50 shot of even surviving the first surgery.
Today, he is 64. His foot is no longer infected. His wound has gone from 16 centimeters to 4 centimeters. When he got into the car, and I started to chauffeur him and my family to the restaurant, his smile was beaming.
I post this with happy tears running down my cheek.
I'm a proud son today.