This morning changed with a phone call. My dad called and rasped one word. "Help." I threw on my clothes and drove across the street. I walked in and my dad was on the couch, shaking. I looked closer. It was like a seizure, but limited to his left side. His arm and leg. He was scared. He kept saying "damn" over and over again. I called 911. EMS arrived. His oxygen level was low. They put him on oxygen. I helped carry my dad to the gurney. They loaded him in the ambulance. Through the ER he made it to ICU. Tumors. One in his head. A large one in his lung. Several lesions in his liver and bones. Cancer. Stage four. No cure. A year left at best. Biopsies on Friday to confirm and identify.
My wife was here. My brothers. My aunt Brenda. My sister. Her mom. We cried. We helped each other.
Yesterday, my dad was sick. I thought it was depression and COPD. We thought he had pneumonia. I thought he was tired.
I should have checked in more. I should have taken care of him more.
After they told him, dad asked about my sister, Misty. He was going to take her to thanksgiving with her mom. My dad, after hearing about his limited time hear asked about my sister. I think everything he's done the past several years to care for her. As best he could.
It wasn't "good enough" for me. My dad's house is a wreck. He's been unemployed. I didn't understand why he only sat on the couch watching TV. Turns out, he's sick. Very sick! I didn't give enough grace. I didn't give enough time. I didn't check in as often as I should have.
I need to give myself more grace too.
We have an opportunity most people don't. We see the train coming. There's still time to right the wrongs. There's still time to give the grace.
Dad keeps signing that he's sorry when he comes to. He sorry he's sick. He doesn't want to be a burden. Always thinking of others and not himself.
We're still at the hospital. I'm tired. I'm a wreck. I'm holding it together. Trying to be here. Trying at the same time not to wear out. I owe him that and much much more.
I love my dad. I just want him to know his life means something. To have no regrets. To be at peace. If I could have anything, it would be for his health to return. For him to see his grand kids grow up. There's always hope.