It was late at night, last week when I received the call that my dad had been taken by ambulance, and was in the emergency room, unresponsive and feverish.
It was over a three-hour drive for me to the hospital. I couldn’t wait to get there but needed to delay until morning to leave. I laid by the phone all night, anticipating updates from my brother who was with him. Feeling helpless so far away, I prayed with all my heart in Jesus name for my dad to be healed from whatever ailed him.
When I arrived the next day, dad was still in the ER waiting for a vacant bed at a local hospital. There was talk about flying him to Portland if one didn’t open up soon. Let me just say that seeing your parent in the hospital, looking frail and not present, instantly brings tears. He wasn’t laughing, complaining, or telling jokes as usual. He was quiet and still. I didn’t like it.
Seeing our parents age and witnessing their declining health is extremely difficult. In my mind, I still live in my childhood and see them when they were strong and independent.
Surely there was something doctors could do to help him. My dad has been on dialysis now for two years, which is another story all its own, but has contributed to his weakness and fragile state. After an MRI, CT scan, multiple blood tests, doctors finally speculated that he had a form of sepsis due to an infection from dialysis. Scary. I didn’t know much about sepsis other than what fellow bereaved mother Melissa Mead had gone through with her son William. (@amotherwithout) And so very thankful for all she has done to raise awareness. As a result, I knew it was serious wasn’t something to dismiss.
A bed had opened up and Dad was transported to the hospital in a neighboring town. I was nervous as I was about to experience another first since Lydia died. It had been ten years since I was last in this particular hospital. My mother was having surgery for thyroid cancer and Lydia and I had gone to visit her.
My husband and I walked in the front doors and it all came flooding back. It seemed like yesterday. We continued on and visited the cafeteria to sit down to eat while Dad was getting situated in his room. I looked over to my left and pictured the last time I was there, Lydia and I had sat at the sunny table by the window, talking and eating while she drew pictures for her grandma. Ahh. My heart felt full. I wasn’t sad or happy but felt at peace. I smiled to myself and embraced those memories as they came rushing back. What a blessing.
Thinking about how much my life has changed in ten years makes me absolutely speechless. It’s really unfathomable, what has happened and how different things are now. However, it is clearly evident how God has been at work in my life.
Being in the hospital, not knowing if my dad would recuperate, made me look at the meaning of life again and refreshed my mind about the fragility of our existence. It was a needed reminder that life is not about me but about Him and I wondered if I was doing right with my life.
Suddenly, nothing else mattered to me except the big picture.
Why are we here? What purpose does my life have? What is God’s will for me? Deep questions that penetrated my heart relentlessly.
There once was a time when I was living and competing with the flesh of the world. It took losing my daughter to make me understand, none of that matters.
We need to see the bigger picture and live with eternity in mind, finding that much needed perspective. And how wonderful that we all get to look forward to an eternity in heaven. No pain, no tears, no sorrow but a place of abundant joy and blessings.
So this is my challenge for you all. Give your strife to the Lord. We don’t need to bear all this stress on our own. When life gets overwhelming, and our problems seem insurmountable, go to God.
No matter the struggles we are facing, we need to turn that glass half full instead of half empty. Serve others and be a blessings every chance you get. Say five positive things to every one negative. Focus on perspective.
Despite it all, I am thankful to report that after several days in the hospital, my dad is on the mend and improving. For now, I will treasure each day and be grateful for lessons learned.