I am struggling with this one.
In fact, I have started this post 7 different times only to reread my words, take a deep breath and hit delete. If I were writing this old school with actual pen and paper, I would probably have a mountain of wadded up notebook paper at my feet and ink stains on my fingertips.
But I don't.
Instead, I have a blinking cursor daring me to write the hard things. The important things. The things that I can not say. . .
I have been on a roller coaster this past week. Summer arrived, as it always does, with a feeling of freedom and promise and sweet expectations. The kids and I had made our summer wish list, and we had visited the pool for a last day of school picnic. I was relaxing into my summer mode when my mom's phone call arrived.
"Dad is going in for another heart catherization."
My mood plummeted.
Her voice was low, but even, which I found odd. I know that she was staying calm for my dad and probably for me too, but every word she spoke was like a click of a roller coaster inching its way to its peak.
"Again?" I questioned quietly. "What happened?"
She replied, "He is having chest pains, " and then she paused for what seemed like a week, " . . . just like last time."
And then silence.
What else was there to say, after all? We had ridden this ride before 3 years ago. And after that terrifying experience, there were promises made to eat better, to make smarter choices, and to exercise.
Promises that have not been kept.
And here is the rub . . . dad's heart procedure went fantastically. He is at home recovering, and I am thrilled that he is feeling better, that he is OK, and that we all get to have him around. So, why do I still feel like I am on the roller coaster? Why do I keep anticipating that next bottom-falling-out feeling? That next drop?
It is an interesting problem. Loving someone so much that you can not imagine your life without him, but also recognizing that life without him is a very real possibility if things do not change. Loving someone so much that you would do anything for him, but being unable to make him do any one thing that will keep him alive.
It is frustrating as hell.
And truthfully, it makes me so angry that I want to scream and throw things and bury my head under a pillow just like my 3 year old does when things get a bit too scary.
But I don't.
Instead, I call and talk to Dad and listen to him joke about his "6 pack" of stents. I know he is joking because that is just his way, but I don't find it the least bit funny. And when I try to broach the subject and get serious, Dad changes the topic to our family's summer plans. I want to parent him and lecture him and give him a laundry list of what to do and what not to do.
But I don't.
Instead, I love him . . . and hope that that will be enough.
**********Linking to this week's Things I Can't Say ****************************