I used to love that song by Twila Paris (Warrior is a child). It is particularly true today. As I mentioned my dad went into heart surgery this morning. 5 hours of surgery later, the doctor (who really had a god complex thing going) came to talk to us. He shoots it like it is, no messing around. Says that Dad was a very hard case. He said his lungs were terrible and he would NOT shut up about how big dad's belly was and how if he makes it, he will have to lose weight. First of all....he needs to be saying "When he makes it...not if" He went on to tell us that he had to do quadruple bypass on him. They said they will have to keep him on a ventilator and his biggest concern was dad being able to breathe on his own. Well, the first hurdle is for Dad to wake up. And then, trying to get him to walk...which will be so interesting since he will be so drugged up and he only has one leg....
Anyway, the net is that we wait. I was there all day today and waited as long as I could to see him. But, I had to leave to pick up our children. My brother, sister and mother saw him. My mother cried and she never cries. They said he has tubes coming out of everywhere and his eyes are so swollen and face. Something about the fluid buildup. My siblings called and said that they were glad that I wasn't there because they knew I would take it hard.
It is strange, how last night...he is calling me for encouragement and scripture verses. And today, he is not even breathing on his own.
My family has always looked to me to be the rock, to be the one that has all the answers, the strong one. But, what they don't see and almost everyone I know....that this "Warrior is a child" They don't see me crying, because I don't want anyone to see. Especially today. I was there to help be the entertainment in the lobby. Bringing magazines, telling crazy stories...when, all the while my heart feels like it is going to come out of my chest. I felt like a child again when the doctor was telling us about my dad. I felt like that little girl that hung out with my Dad all the time (that is until my brother came along and they did baseball and stuff like that) ;) and all I wanted to do was to be able to hug him.
As I write this, tears are streaming down my face. I guess it is the unknown and the talk about strokes and all kinds of stuff that I wasn't prepared for. It is interesting, during tough times...you realize who your friends are when things get tough. As much as I have been in the hospital, I have seen it time and time again. And today, I was in awe at the amount of people from everywhere that came to the waiting room just to sit with us and to talk about good, funny stories about dad. There was a lot of laughter. However, we were very tame next to the group that was near us. I swear, you would have thought it was a bar the way that they were talking so loud, and laughing and saying some crazy stuff. That group alone gave me great writing material!!!
So, the beauty of today was family and the outpouring of love and support for my dad and our family. Some of these people drove far....and others didn't know him personally, they were friends of my brother who knew about him. Our group alone almost took over the entire waiting room. They were telling me stories of how my dad inspires them. It was humbling for me to hear.
And I was amazed at just my friends, especially on FB the outpouring of support. The friends who called me to check on me.... A friend who I haven't seen in 20 years was willing and ready to sit with me in the waiting room (Beth S. D.) girl, you are awesome!! Then, there are the people that you think that will touch base with you and let you know that they are thinking about you....you don't hear from them. Then the people you least expect reach out. It is so strange how that out plays out.
Life is funny when you make plans. Dad was planning to go to some big reunion and out of nowhere his chest pain started. God knew what he was doing, because the Dr. said had he not had the surgery now....he would have had the big heart attack. And, for me, the second weekend in a row where I had big plans to get away....well, they pale in comparison when it comes to being near family right now. I wouldn't be able to forgive myself if anything happened while I was gone. So, I hope my friend understands, even though this is a huge weekend for her. I hope she knows how much she means to me, and I would be there in a heart beat. But, I need to be near by. My Mom especially needs the support. She is very weary right now. So, the moral of the story....be flexible in your plans!! Life likes to throw curve balls!!!
It was a rainy, dreary day here. But, for a few hours...we all found laughter and joy. And I called ICU and they said Dad was resting easy. I imagine he must be resting easy being in a coma for goodness sake. Sounds like he gave him the good stuff!! I am sure he is having great dreams of being back at his old farm, or playing baseball or football. But, with some of that medicine....God only knows what he is dreaming of. So, I can be at peace knowing that he is asleep and under constant watch. I envision my grandmother (who passed in 2000) sitting right next to him holding his hand.
As for me....as sad as I feel right now...I know that tomorrow is a new day and I have made plans with an old friend and I can assure you laughter will be had.
When you look around, you can find beauty in everything....