Sunday, July 3, 2011

Resilience

He’s coming home tomorrow, and the haze from this nightmare is slowly lifting. He went in for a serious operation on his spine – one for which he has been anticipating and preparing for months, and that would provide huge pain relief and an improved quality of life for him. Instead he took a detour.

It’s alarming when things don’t go as planned; when you see the surgeon appear in the waiting room hours too early with wistful concern sprawled across his face.

It’s shocking to learn that your father is anaphylactic to certain drugs, and that they almost lost him on the table. And it rocks your world to see the man who has been a tower of patriarchal strength lying flat on his back, hands restrained, face camouflaged by an oxygen mask and tubes coming out of every orifice in his body – and still with no spine operation.

It’s been a hellish few days oscillating between witnessing his suffering and discomfort and dealing with the aftershock of almost losing him. Simply put – I can’t envision my world without him in it. True to form he has turned his attention to recovering fully from this bend in the road, and refocusing on the operation he was meant to have; the one that will restore mobility and enable him to keep living life fully.

I have found gifts in the adversity of this last calamity. I have learned that my dad’s renowned ability to heal quickly is intact; that he has other health issues that can now be managed; and that we can’t take time with one another for granted. Most importantly, I was reminded that my dad has taught me some of the greatest lessons in my life by being the shining example of resilience and determination that he his.

Thanks for letting us keep him.

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