When someone close to you suffers an illness, something serious, it tends to make you stop to smell those darn roses. You cherish those conversations, those moments when you connect. You want to savor them, remember them.
I moved to Arkansas a year and half ago to be near my parents and help them as they grew older. I knew intellectually why I was here. This past week has made everything terribly real. Last week, I accompanied my father to the hospital where they ran tests to determine the health of his heart. The news wasn’t good. Today, he’s heading to surgery for multiple bypasses. That’s bad enough, but given his age and his health, we’re all worried.
Especially him. Dad’s the alpha guy. Quiet, strong. Always there doing the things the strong silent guys do to keep family safe and content. He’s scared. That fact completely unsettles me.
I watch him and my mother together and realize their’s was the happy-ever-after every romance reader dreams of. They fuss at each other with twinkles in their eyes. They do little things all the time for each other that are sweet and thoughtful. They grew up together, made a family, and are the hub for all their children’s and grandchildren’s lives. When the first of them passes on, the other will be lost.
So today, say a prayer for my dad. Call your mom or dad and say hello. I’ll be sitting in a waiting room with my mom, sister, and daughter, waiting and hoping we can all put off the inevitable one more time. Sorry I didn’t come with my usual cheery face, but today I’m not feeling so invincible or secure.