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51

A big party planned

with my favorite band driving in from Colorado.

One hundred folks confirmed,

a German Chocolate cake setting on the counter and

a fifth of my favorite scotch. Ready for anything…

One phone call later,

a family medical emergency,

my daughter is in the hospital…

I call the band to cancel,

(they are glad to have a day off to rest in the midst of their hectic tour),

I hammer social media to cancel the party,

post a sign on the front door and

as I am leaving, four friends arrive early,

hugs and tears, (my one moment to show grief)

and I race off to the hospital.

After several hours of trying to be strong for everyone around me,

wrestling with doctors in the ER who are

reluctant to give the heavy doses of medication needed,

we are checked into a private room.

My daughter’s friends descend.

The support she receives from them is astounding,

(I am tearing up now, remembering their love

while editing this poem, these many months later).

The pain meds work their magic.

We order pizza.

They are laughing,

cajoling her back from the brink of depression,

and sharing secrets a father probably should not be hearing.

But there is no place else I would want to be,

when needed,

than sitting quietly in the corner of her hospital room,

sipping scotch,

and listening to love overflowing,

knowing,

the best of me is in her

on this, my 51st birthday.

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