I am sitting here is the darkened breakfast room of The Holiday Inn Express adjacent to the University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City. It’s almost eleven at night. I am out here so my mom has a dark and quiet room to try to get a head start on falling asleep. I am a confirmed snore-er and she has been having trouble sleeping anyway. Dad’s heart surgery was today. He now has a new aortic valve made of pig tissue and synthetic materials inserted through a new less invasive method, like a catheterization.
There is plenty of weirdness about all of this.
I am forced to come face the fact that my parents are 84 and 86, frail, and in poor health. I wonder what the heck happened to them. Why is all this happening when we are beginning to mellow out and learning to love each other?
I am here alone. Patty has always been by my side in family health crises, but was unable to come this time. She is a medical professional. I cringe when confronted with bodily fluids. She is patient and has a special way of getting people to cooperate. I have a more “in your face” style. I miss her.
I remember how dad reacted when he had surgery for a broken hip a few years ago. He took months to get back to normal mentally. It was very hard on everyone.
I am faced with my own mortality. I am the next in line family patriarch. I love that role, but it sure makes me wonder where the time went.
Mom and I have had an interesting day. We were stuck on small, warm, stuffy elevator for about fifteen minutes. A maintenance guy with a pry bar and a police officer came to our rescue. We also witnessed a fight over a small child at the main entrance of the hospital as we were shuttled back to hotel. Security and the police were summoned.
We were blessed with the company of parent’s pastor who was interested in my writings (a total surprise)! We talked about books and authors.
My favorite cousin and my favorite uncle made a very long trip to sit with us today. They are always a delight!
We have encountered several extremely kind people in the hospital and the hotel. They have shown us a little bit of beauty to brighten our day.
We received the coveted good news from the doctors and were blessed by their skill and an amazing new procedure.
And so, weirdness and beauty continue their dance called life.