Today I called my dad in the hospital.
They are releasing him.
He said it was just the common cold.
He joked that he felt silly staying in the hospital for the common cold.
He said, "When they told me that I had the Rhino Virus I thought, Oh no! Not the Rhino Virus! Because if the bird flu is bad, the Rhino Virus must be terrible. That's when the doctor told it it is better known as the common cold." Phew. That was a close call. Rhinos are mean.
As I always do, I asked LOTS of questions.
I like to know every detail.
It didn't add up, but sometimes it doesn't.
We ended the conversation.
But not before he included some mention of him being proud of me, my life, my accomplishments (which since becoming a mother I have to remind myself are still there), and my family.
I love you.
After I hung up with him, my mom called me.
I continued cleaning the kitchen and mudroom. (I always try to clean the kitchen in the morning, but the mudroom was added to my to do list today because we have a guy coming to give us a bid on making lockers in there. I'm crossing my fingers it will help with the endless mess - or at least contain the chaos behind closed doors.)
As I swept up dry cat food and put the last dishes into the dishwasher, Mom asked me if I had talked to Dad.
"Did he tell you he has heart failure?"
No. That little detail seemed to not have made it's way into the conversation.
As I spoke to my mom, I pulled up info on congestive heart failure on the internet. I do that anytime there is a health problem - especially with my parents. They don't always research and therefor don't always know what to look or ask for. It is a chronic disease on one that a person can live with for years. This is not a death sentence. It makes me feel better to know.
I know that just on the horizon that life is going to change for me. I try not to think about how hard it will be. I don't feel that trying to imagine it will make it any easier when the time comes and so I don't. I accept that that bridge is there in my path, but I'll wait until I get to it to worry about it. I suppose I'm more concerned about the path between here and there.
If I could hug my dad, I would and I'd tell him that's its okay that he couldn't tell me that his heart is failing. I know he doesn't want me to worry. He has lived 12 years after a 6 by-pass open heart surgery. There were miracles that happened (lots of them) that even the doctors were surprised. And since that time, every day has been a gift and once again I'm in gratitude.