In the last week, much has changed, and yet, nothing really feels like it has changed at all. Let's start with the most obvious...I'm 28. While it would seem like this change is inevitable, and, in all honesty I have been 28 for just 2 days--it feels like a milestone. A year where I can really figure things out.
Next, let's talk about the whirlwind the past week has been. On August 2nd, we were victims of a tornado. Yes, you read right, a tornado. While this natural disaster was only classified as an 'EF-1' tornado, we still saw much damage to the world we know and love. The house that I grew up in is still standing. Yet, there's not the same amount of allure that surrounded what I once knew. No more trees protecting us from the summer sun. The fence that my uncle once built is no more, and everything feels, well empty. With this change, I can be appreciative, as we're all still here. It's true what they say, things are replaceable. People, are not.
That brings me to the next thing: Dad. As you all know, and have been reading, my father suffers from Congestive Heart Failure. In the last month or so, his health has deteriorated rapidly. A few weeks ago, he pretty much went into diabetic shock at GoJo's and an ambulance had to be called. He came home, and was having some issues breathing. He's been having this problem for months now. Finally, he was admitted to Advocate Condell (again) where they told our family that his heart has gotten weaker---and that our options were limited. Nevertheless there were options.
Options. It's such a simple word, and can mean so much. When I think of options, I think about the outfit I am going to wear the next day, or perhaps my meal choice. It seems so optimistic and holds so many possibilities. Yet, in our case, our options seems to be a really specific choice of words. It's a consciously chosen word...and it doesn't hold as many possibilities as one would think. After a week, they decided that really, an LVAD or external heart pump would be the best choice. So, they moved him to Advocate Christ in Oak Lawn, where he currently awaits installation. Tomorrow, is that day.
During this time, our family has really been trying to hold it together in the best way possible. Last Friday, as his heart struggled to do it's job, the rest of his organs tried to hold their end of the bargain. His kidneys began to worsen, and his breathing went along with it. It was clear that something had to be done---and so the doctors called my mother for permission to install a temporary heart balloon with the hopes that it would lessen the burden his heart was carrying. In so many ways than one. It was scary, and the way it all went down really terrified all of us. When Mom called me Friday morning, I thought that I was probably never going to speak to Dad again. When he came out of the procedure, seeing him strugging to breathe on that bed was probaby one of the scariest moments of my life. It seems melodramtic. Mostly because he was fine. The only thing I could think to say to him was, "I am not ready for this yet. I am not ready." How selfish?
As the days have passed since Friday, his kidey function has drastically improved. They moved him out of the ICU, and into the ASHU, or 'Adult Surgical Heart Unit'---which has been as sign of hope. We have received word that he will, in fact, be receiving his LVAD tomorrow. This is amazing news. It's amazing and terrifying at the same time. I am a nervous person by nature, and so, I always feel like I need to prepare myself for the worst. Alas, in my 28th year of life, I am trying to be more optimistic. So, I put my faith in the man upstairs, and of course, I hand the key's to my dad's life over ot the doctors that will be operating on him tomorrow.
I cannot begin to thank everyone for their kind words, love and prayers. I never really understood or believed in the power of prayer until now. It's so shitty to admit, and I am probably going to be looked down upon for it, but I don't think he would have made it through without it. You believe what you believe, and that's that.
So, as I end this...and I am sure that Dad won't be able to read this before tomorrow morning, here's what I have to say:
In these 28 years, I could not have asked for a better father. You may not have taught me how to ride a bike, or spell words--but you did teach me the meaning of hard work. While I was learning those things, you were out there following a dream and making it a reality so that we could live a life that was and has been truly amazing. You made sure we wanted for nothing. You inspired me to go to college, and when I didn't think I wanted to teach anymore, you supported my decision to move on and find something that made me happy. Most of all, you've taught me the importance of driving with the top down, you've taught me it's okay to take your car all the way to 5th gear on 120---just so you could feel the thrill of it all. You've taught me to get up when I have fallen, brush the dirt of my knees and keep going. You've taught me that I should not and cannot settle for anything less than perfect. You've taught me to listen and observe---and then take action. Your advice, has been both hilarious in it's own way, but true to a fault. It has never steered me wrong. I will cherish our fishing trips, getting lost on lakes, riding in the Miata, attempting to play Softball, Lakehurst Days, Rollo's from Ace, Sunday breakfasts, Driving to nowhere like fools without a purpose, British Accents, Music, the times you told us Evil Woman was about Mom, Tractor Pulls and so many more memories I cannot even begin to list them. I want you to know, you are strong. You are a fighter, and I have nothing but faith that tomorrow will bring good news, and the renewed sense of life you deserve and hold deep within you. Hold on just a bit longer, we have one more race to run...and when you cross that finish line....we'll all be able to breathe a little easier.
So tomrorow, is the day. The 13th of August. Excuse this blog, as I am sure it rambles, and I am not checking for grammatical errors. I am just typing as fast as my little fingers can move. Mostly because, this is the only way I can think to express myself---and also because I know that if I create positive things with my thoughts, those things can be true.
Thank you to all for everything, you know who you are. Tomorrow, we'll just need prayers and positive vibes.