Something I have learned over the past several months while dealing with the extended illness of my father is that there are good days, and there are bad days, and there are a myriad of nuances that fall in between. Some days are better while others are hard or optimistic or numbing. Scary, hopeful, horrible, surprising, frustrating, and the list goes on.
Yesterday was one of the difficult ones. My dad had some setbacks and by the time I got home I was completely drained. This morning when I opened my eyes, I felt the familiar panicky feeling start to creep in. It’s been there, ever present over the past week, always in the morning when I wake up. What’s happening today? What horrible thing will we have to face? What mountain am I staring down today?
Thankfully today was better with a side of not as horrible as anticipated. My dad made some baby-step progress, which is better than no progress, so I’ll take it. The last time dad was in the hospital for an extended period of time, it was 45 days. And in the middle of those 45 days sits the day he coded. The worst day.
Today was day eight of this second chapter and we got through it. One of dad’s techs came in today. She remembered him from his time on that floor back in early October. Her eyes watered and her voice choked as she said he was one of her favorite patients, and began to recount the story of when she first walked into his room and he told her he liked her hair. The caring and compassionate way she talked about him made my eyes well up too.
I’m thankful for those encounters, the ones that are nestled in the midst of hard moments, that remind me of the humanity behind all of it- the nurses and doctors and techs that have to work in that environment every day, and still live their lives outside the hospital doors. They truly are admirable.
So as I close out this better day, I am praying for a hopeful or optimistic one tomorrow. Goodnight sweet friends.