Yesterday I had a bit of a scare.
I should have known something wasn’t right. I was on the phone with Sis, and my father’s cell number tried to beep in. That in itself was not a bad sign… I talk to Sis once in a great while, and I talk to M&D roughly every day lately. So I didn’t think twice about not taking the call. I’d call them right back. It went to voicemail.
And then my office cell starting ringing. Also dad’s cell number.
Right there. That’s the moment I should have known. Because they never call my office cell. People who know me just know… you don’t call me when I’m at work. I have no privacy at work. Personal calls are frowned on. And I’m working. I have my head in the game, so to speak. I have a hard time separating tracks, so I don’t do it. They know that.
But that didn’t fully register. Probably because I wasn’t at work; I was at home. But if they were calling the office line, they didn’t know that.
Anyway, I took the extra minute or two to wrap up with Sis, and then I called Dad’s cell. (Mom has a cell, but she never has it with her. They’re usually together, and use his.)
Mom answered. Are you still at work?
I’d been home for about an hour. I’d actually called both her house and the cell, and got no answer. Not unusual; sometimes they’re out in the yard or whatever. No, I’m at home. I called both your numbers and left a message at home…
OK. Um, let me call you right back, OK? I’m driving and I need to pull over so I can be on the cell.
Wait, what? She was driving? Why would she be driving? When they’re together, Dad always drives. She should be answering his phone while he drives. If for some reason she needs to be driving, why isn’t he answering the phone? And that was tension in her voice…
And then a minute later, ring ring, there’s mom to tell me what’s happened.
OK. So. The story was, the cold my father’s been fighting off the last few days? Not a cold. Pneumonia, thankyouverymuch. So he was in the hospital at the time she called. They hadn’t, at the time, given him a room, but they were expecting to keep him for a night or two. Treating him in some kind of triage room while they waited for a room to get clear (the boy‘s dad collapsed last year and they didn’t manage to get him into a real room until the wee hours of the morning. I was thankful they weren’t holding treatment up pending a room, but couldn’t imagine having to linger unsettled for that long).
Anyhoo… mom was calling from his cell on her way home. She wanted to stay with him, for the night or at least until they got him into a room. But he was all agitated worrying about her possibly driving home alone at night and wanting her to be safely locked in for the night before it got dark. Being all “Dad” you know. She had all his worldly possessions with her, because he didn’t want anything other than the insurance card while he was in the hospital so nothing could walk away.
I ask if she needs me home. It’s hell at work right now, and I have meetings (heck I am presenting at meetings), and my boss is away so there is no one else to fill in. But this is family. If there’s a way to work it out, I will. There might not be much I can do for my dad in that moment (other than the most important thing: to pray… and I can tell you that THAT started as soon as it dawned on me that something just wasn’t right), but I was also thinking about how mom would always hate it when dad was away, even just on a business trip. She doesn’t sleep well without him. She’d be worried, on top of that. Plus dad would feel better knowing she wasn’t alone…
But of course he wouldn’t know that, because she had his phone, and until he was in a room he wouldn’t have any way of being contacted. Still, I suggested it to mom and she said no… that daddy hadn’t wanted me taking time off from work when he knows my boss is away and I need to be there, and anyway he’d be home in another day or two…
So, we’re calm(ish) as we hang up. And she heads back home again. And we talk a few more times that night, because I need to know she’s doing OK, and she knows I need to talk to my momma.
We’re calm(ish). Panic isn’t going to do any good. But in that moment, I’m scared. And I know I’m not supposed to be scared. God is sovereign and God is good and God is the Healer and God is in control and Lord I know You love him with an infinite love and I thank you for that and please forgive me for the thought I had there for a second about what this might mean for our travel plans because that was very selfish of me and thank you that he belongs to You so he’ll never really be lost whatever the outcome but oh God you know that we are not ready to lose him and yes I know that You will be our readiness when the time comes but please, please can it not be now?
It’s funny how you can have worry and peace and hope all jumbled up at once.
And because women multitrack at all times, there’s nothing else I can be doing that isn’t colored, in whole or in part, by the knowledge that my dad is in the hospital with pneumonia. (This is not a good moment to think about the fact that Jim Henson died of pneumonia, but the thought comes anyway. It’s really impossible for it to be otherwise.)
So I put the prayer message out to my circle last night, because the more prayer the better.
And so… this morning, I checked on my mom on my way to work. And then I checked at the hospital to get a status on dad. They let me know he was in a room now, and did I want to be connected?
Yes. If that’s an option, then yes. Oh my goodness, yes.
And then there he is. That’s his voice. And he sounds so good. OK, not good like 100%, but good like that’s-my-dad-and-it’s-so-good-to-hear-his-voice-and-he-says-he-still-has-the-bad-headache-but-he-doesn’t-sound-like-he-might-die-right-this-minute.
And you know, that’s a good sound, right there.
I rode that wet-noodle-of-relief surrealness into my morning presentation and was a total spaz. Multitracks makes us great multitaskers, but it makes us suck at separating one part of life from another. Whatever. I had talked to my dad, and he didn’t sound too bad all things considered.
Here’s the latest, to the best of my knowledge: My dad was released from the hospital this evening. Last I spoke to them, he was getting ready to check out and go home, with a pile of prescriptions in tow and instructions to rest for the next few days. He’s still got a headache that’s troubling him, and meds aren’t doing much for it yet, but the news to date has been so much better than I would have believed possible, if I didn’t believe in a merciful and miraculous God.
Praise be to God. Great is His mercy. May His grace and His healing continue to abound.
And with that thought, and more prayers for his continued recovery… I think I need to get to bed.