" FC, You lift and rotate, Mom,you move the recliner once we're clear, I'll support the leg. Dad, you have to push up with your good leg and we will try not to hurt you, but you can call us names or whatever you need to say if we do, ok?"
I am standing behind my father with my hands under his arms, waiting for the signal to lift. Mrs. FC, the nurse commander in this operation is giving instructions to us as we prepare to move him and his broken, polio battered leg from his recliner to a home hospital bed in the living room.
I can hear my wife instructing us and I'm paying attention, honest, I am . I'm doing my part too (the heavy lifting) in the operation, but I'm also a bit awestruck.
My grip on Dad has my arms under his shoulders and my hands are wrapped around his upper arms. He's tensing, lifting with his good leg and expecting, ... dreading more of the pain that has wracked his leg since he broke it in a fall Wednesday night.
It's the muscles my hands are wrapped around that leave me astounded even in the midst of this delicate moving operation.
This guy is 80 years old and the biceps that fill my hands as I lift him oh so gently, are solid and
powerful with not an ounce of flab.
My Dad is "ripped" as the kids would say. I shouldn't be surprised, you can see the corded veins and the toned flesh when he's in a short sleeve shirt, but I don't usually have my hands around his biceps as I do at this moment. My mind wanders to the teenage athletes I teach and I know that most of them couldn't match this guy's wiry muscle tone.
The operation goes smoothly thanks to Mrs. FC's knowledge and direction. In a few minutes, it's over, he's propped up in his adjustable bed and so much more comfortable than before.
I've been here overnight since rushing from work Thursday and now with Mrs. FC here to do the weekend shift and boss everybody around, it's safe for me to go home and take care of things there.
Come Monday or Tuesday, I'll head back over to help out as needed.
On the long drive home, my thoughts hover on Dad and his injury. Broken legs at his age are scary and too many older relatives and friends never recovered from breaks late in life. I push those thoughts aside and focus on the strength I felt when I had my arms around him.
After all, he beat a brush with his Kryptonite almost 70 years ago as a kid with polio and not many people can say that. His attitude is good too, even though he's facing months of immobility ... not that he's happy about the situation, but he's not despairing either.
And then there is that strength ...
... I think Superman is going to be okay.