“The Other Father,” as opposed to the 1999 film The Other Sister, about a mentally handicapped sister.
The Other Father:
I don’t even know how to describe my father-in-law, other than I hope Ryan grows up to be just like him. (I’m okay with dropping the “in-law,” if you are, Gary.)
Papa Gary Boyce. The man I call a whale, not because he’s fat (anymore, hahahaha ;)–he’s lost weight), but because he’s got this really long body and really long, skinny legs–like a whale tail. Plus whales are supposedly the kings of the whole sea, but I can’t help but think they’re so gentle looking–Free Willy, remember?
He’s in the hospital right now texting me to check out Home Depot, “if you have time,” he says, to pick out new carpet. “”They have specials this week,” he says, from the hospital bed. From the hospital bed. He’s bored, even with his stomach pains. He’s taking care of our future carpet, even with his stomach pains.
Don’t worry, Gary. I’ll stop by Home Depot a billion times if I have to. How come you’re so good to me?
By the way, how are you feeling?
“Just fine. I have to stay one more day and have some stupid scope sent down my throat tomorrow, then I’m out of here.” Gary hates the hospital and hospital bills and frivolous things like small intestine pains and IVs.
One time Ryan broke his collarbone at school. Gary told him, “Wait. Don’t go to the hospital until I see it.” He came, he saw, he said, “Yeah, it really is broken.” He took Ryan to the hospital.
One time I was really sick and he called me a hundred times until I stopped answering because I was too tired to talk anymore. But I knew he was calling and that made me feel safe. (His calling always makes me feel safe in the Boyce name.)
Ryan says he wants to name all our kids Gary and Cleve (my dad). I’m okay with that. The Garys and Cleves can play around in the carpet and Ryan and I will remember our dads and how much we love them.