Three months ago my world was thrown so far out of whack that I have struggled to get it back on track. Even further back it had started to crumble.
It started when I learned that my Mom had heart problems. Scary enough that there was going to have to b some sort of surgery done to make it better. While we were waiting for detail and timing of a surgeon Dad was starting to have some of his own problems. Eyes twitching nerve pain and the lot.
I was not a happy daughter. Concerned for both my parents health.
But still trying to live the life that my parents raised me to. To enjoy my family to be responsible for my actions and to raise my children to the best of m ability. Yes, this means that I don't get out and visit as much as I did before. With only James working, a tight budget, and one kid in sports and school and the other growing faster then our wallets can afford, we don't have a lot of spare change floating around our place. Which means the days we can visit people because we aren't working, at sport events or school, there's not much money left in the budget for extra gas, movies or other activities.
Not to mention whenever we did find the time to go and visit we always felt like it was a n inconvenience that we did come to visit. Because we didn't come on a regular basis. Which never helped with wanting to go back up again. I didn't live at home, I didn't have a complicated marriage, and I didn't need someone else's help to get by from day to day. It became the hardest part of going up there. I don't know I probably read to much into these things. I still do and probably always will.
In May my Mom was finally scheduled for her surgery. Should have been a fairly simple procedure only lasting a few hours. I kept calling my Dad for updates and then got one from my mom quickly saying that she was going in for an emergency heart valve replacement. Talk about panic attack. I called my Dad to get a better update and of course he says no no you don't need to come down here, we will just be waiting anyways. Stubborn. Not wanting to be needy. Nothing you can do. Like hell am I not going down there. After a gazillion panicked phone calls I get both my kids figured out for who is going to watch them. I rush down to the hospital, Eli still in tow as James is going to meet me as soon as he can to take him, I wait with my sister and brother in law and Dad. That day and the following days were the days that I saw the most worry, the strongest amount of love and devotion from my Dad in all my life.
Pacing the halls, Quietly talking with us. Consistently checking his pager, checking the time.
I remember sitting there talking with Dad and him telling me about his mom and how his life was just going to be taking care of people who were one medicines there life. His mom had been on the blood thinners too. How he missed his mom. I remember thinking it was kind of odd how much he was talking about Grandma. But at the same time being in a hospital, waiting. Being the week before his Mom's birthday I didn't think to much of it. He just wanted Mom better. Hated not knowing how the surgery was going. If everything was going to be alright.
The moment we found out she was going to be alright, the surgery was successful, a big weight came off his shoulders. Meeting with the doctors and finding out how bad mom heart valve had been. How glad they were that they had gone ahead with the valve replacement that day. The doctors said it had been really bad. But most importantly she was going to be just fine.The next step, which I think might have been the hardest was ting turns seeing mom on the ventilators. She had to be on the for a few hours to let her body coupe and build strength before being taken off them. At this point we had been at the hospital all day. We pried Dad away from the hospital to go a couple blocks away to get something to eat. Let me tell you if it wasn't for the fact that all three of us were there pulling him out to make sure he ate, he would not have left Moms' side for any reason.
Mom and Dad had only had their charger for a little while at the point. Dad was loving it. Told us about it. Even had to show off some of it power on the back road and give it a quick burst of speed. Chuckling the whole time. Just like Dad.
As soon as we got back from dinner straight up to the room he went. Promising to call once mom was awake and off the ventilator. Which he did. He was so relieved. And so were the rest of us.
The next few days mom was making incredible strides in healing. I went on of those days to visit. Dad was sitting there with his glasses on reading mom's book of what to expect for her surgery and the recovery. Since they had just got it. Even chuckling about the fact that it says carrot cake is not something you should be eating. All the sugar and all. Mentioning that maybe we will have to have something else for his birthday cake instead since I usually had been making him carrot cake the past few years.
All in all everyone was doing good considering. I went and visited my Mom that Sunday when she had been released home. Dad was working on building mom a step so she could take a shower. Was worn out from the stress of moms surgery and the back and forth. But was in pretty good spirits. We visited for awhile. Watched a movie with mom and Dad took Felicia to work. We waited till he came back and stayed for a bit longer and then the kids and I went home to have some dinner and meet James after working at Dozer Days. I remember leaving that night from their house. Mom was in her corner on her computer resting watching and movie. We all gave hugs and kisses. I remember getting the kids out the door and saying by, stopping and then coming back in and giving both Mom and Dad hugs and kisses. Dad sitting in his corner of the couch relaxing. Smiling.
Little did I know that was the last time I would ever see my Dad.