Denial and other Egyptian rivers
Dad once again took this morning's FaceTime from his chair, where he had once again been spatulaed from his bed. I was concerned to see that he had his oxygen back in, but he assured me that he's only on one liter (you medical types will know what that means; I do not), which is no cause for alarm.
Everything else is status quo: still on dialysis and the glorified nasal milkshake straw; still working on growing those new white blood cells; still hoping to get out of the ICU by the weekend but lacking a firm timeline (which is fine).
Mom and Dad had had a visit from a church friend who hand-delivered a whopping 38 greeting cards and notes from other church friends, which made them very happy and will keep them nice and busy. I'm excited for Dad to receive the Kindle, which is supposed to arrive on Monday.
So with the news out of the way, allow me to wax philosophical for a moment. My colleague Amber told me yesterday that, while I was in London, she and our colleague Jen were trying to pick out a card for me to go with the flowers. Jen showed Amber two possibilities and asked her which she thought I'd like better. Amber chose, but made the observation that neither of the cards Jen offered were sympathy cards. Surprised, Jen said, "Oh! Should I get a sympathy one just in case?" Amber replied, "No. Because he's not gonna die."
Now, here are a few things I know: None of us has any real control over this situation. Even the best modern medicine has its limits. No one can see the future. And those Egyptian river cruises can really suck you in (I'm not saying I'd like to build a summer home there, but the trees are actually quite lovely).
But I also know that there are powerful forces in this world that we cannot see or even understand. For lack of better labels, we call them things like "faith" and "hope." And there have been many cases in which patients who have large doses of them have pulled through against the medical odds.
So even though Mom told us days later that the doctor actually used the word "die" in their frank talk last Monday (thus prompting our rush to London), and despite the fact that part of me was afraid I was getting on that plane to say goodbye to my father forever, I just...I knew it wouldn't happen. This wasn't how it was supposed to end. And apparently I wasn't the only one who believed that.
Thank you for believing with me.