Last week I shared with you about my Dad’s heart attack over a year ago and how we almost lost him.
Before our Dad was able to go into heart surgery, he had another heart attack. They were unable to stop the attack and so they rushed him into emergency surgery. The surgery went well and everything appeared to be right on track. Jimella and I were not at the hospital but at home waiting beside our phones for updates from our Mom, Sheila or David. Throughout the day the reports kept getting worse instead of better. Our younger sister has a friend who is a doctor and she was able to view Dad’s reports, she told Sheila; tell your sisters too come. They need to be here.
Thanks to our dear friends, Melisa and David, they agreed to watch the boys for us while I was gone. Troy had just started a new job and had to leave for work at 4:00 a.m. each morning. I don’t know if they will ever realize the magnitude of the gift they gave so I could be with my parents and my siblings.
Jimella and I had a nine hour car trip before us. (It was a year ago today.) We decided not to talk about the severity of our Dad’s health and the “what if’s”. We needed to be alert for driving and not bawling our eyes out. Jimella, I have a confession to make. Even though we didn’t talk about it, my mind was spinning like a hamster wheel with thoughts I could not have voiced even if we had agreed to talk about it. My biggest fear was we would not make it in time to hospital, and Dad would die before we got there. I prayed I could tell Dad one more time that I loved him; it didn’t matter if he was in an induced coma, I had to be able to say it. I had to see my, Dad, one more time. To hold his hand, to pray, to encourage him, please just one more time, God…was the whisper of my heart.
We kept in contact with our Mom by cell-phone on the long trip north. There was no change in Dad’s health. Critical but stable.
We arrived at the hospital in hopes we could see Dad right away. But they had just gone into see Dad and so we had to wait another hour before we could see him. Only three could go in at a time and for only five minutes.
It was better for us to visit with Mom, Sheila, and David before we saw Dad for the first time. They were able to prepare us (sort of) and to remind us, not to let tears fill our voices or Dad to hear concern. Even though Dad was sedated his blood pressure would go up a little each time someone would talk to him.
You know five minutes can seem like eternity when you are waiting for a phone call or for something life changing to happen. But when you have been waiting to see your Dad and you don’t know if he is going to make it or not…five minutes flies by faster than you ever thought possible.
I had prayed all day long for this moment, that the Lord will help me to be strong for my Dad, my Mom, and for my siblings. I know Jesus carried me into my Dad’s ICU room. There was nothing anyone could have said to truly prepare me for the moment I would look upon my Dad’s face. I wanted to run from the room as fast as I could get out of there, I was hoping it was just a bad dream, and that it really wasn’t my Dad lying there so sick. God was holding all of us in His loving arms as we gazed upon our Dad, the one we have always known as healthy and strong. The Lord gave me the presence of mind to stay calm and the right words to say. “My soul finds rest in God alone.” Psalm 62:1 kept playing through my mind. I shared those words with my Dad; they were just as much for him as they were for me. Before I knew it was time for us to leave again. As we left the ICU the tears I had held back for so long came, I didn’t know if I could or even wanted to stop crying. But I knew I needed to pull myself together to be strong for my Mom. I could hear my Dad’s voice in my head; you need to take care of your Mom. For as hard as it was on all of us kids, I knew it had to be the most difficult for, Mom. To watch your husband, best friend, and the love of your life so sick…I couldn’t imagine.
I will share some more over my next couple of writings of some of what happened while we waited to see if my Dad would make it or not.
I have some questions for you. Are you ready for your five minutes? You never know what might happen in your life or those you love? Can you prepare yourself for those minutes? Please don’t fill your heart with worry over what may or may not happen. But there is nothing in life that surprises God. He knows what each day will hold in store for us. He doesn’t plan the bad things to happen, He knows because he is all-knowing. My parents taught me to trust God in all things…and as I have said before…they just didn’t teach us this lesson, they lived it. I learned I could trust God with every aspect of my life and you know He has never let me down.
I have been through situations so difficult; I didn’t know I could ever manage to get through it. But I knew God would walk with me and never leave my side. I knew somehow I would make it to the other side. I can’t take credit for my faith because it is the Holy Spirit working in me that helps me to trust and believe.
I pray you can find perfect peace in the “five minutes” of your life. You can only find it in the One who gave His life for you, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.