This past weekend I flew to Atlanta because my dad is in the hospital and we thought he would be having heart surgery this past Monday. It turns out that the surgery was postponed so I’m back in Iowa now, but I’m so glad I went. There is nowhere I would rather have been.
The heart problem is a complication they found while treating his cancer. One of many complications. His road to health has been rocky and steep and is not over yet. I know he is exhausted of fighting, of being in the hospital, of feeling so badly. He is strong and he has the support of lots of friends and a loving family. But it is impossible to be strong and positive all the time.
In the worst days of my depression over the last year I wanted to die. It was the only way I could see to make the pain end. I couldn’t see a future where I wasn’t miserable. It seemed too hard, too far away. I know my dad has had similar thoughts. It’s not surprising. It doesn’t get talked about much but I would be willing to bet that nearly everyone who fights through a serious disease thinks this way at times.
This was the first time since feeling that way myself, that I was on the other side. That someone I cared about was feeling that way. And I know that there’s nothing I can say to really make him feel better. To make him believe it will pass and be better. That getting through it will be so worth it. People said those things to me and at times I still don’t believe it.
All I could do this weekend was be there. Be there to hug my mom and sisters. To tell them about my new job to take their minds off of it for a while. To sit in the hospital with my Dad.
Sunday night I got to watch about half of the Super Bowl with my Dad and then we started watching The Proposal before he fell asleep. I got to hold his hand and talk to him. I wouldn’t trade those hours for anything.
I love you Dad!