In the last few weeks, my dad's been sick. After a series of tests and getting a CT scan on Monday, his doctor's office called him and told him "You need to go to the ER and admit yourself to the hospital. You have a tumor."
So Monday, we went to the ER with Dad. It was 3:30 in the morning before he was admitted- but we had William go home to get some sleep when it started looking like a long, drawn out process. So we went and got him after he got some sleep and he's been staying with Dad at the hospital. He has a cot that's too short for him, but it's exactly where he wants to be. He and his grandfather have a very close relationship.
He's been poked, prodded and because of his tests, didn't get to eat for over 24 hours that first day.
I'm grateful for his night nurses. Who stopped when I said "He's hungry and getting cranky, when is the window he can eat?" and they called and tracked down the people who were doing the next round of stuff to find out. They've also been talking to him when he needs to talk and bullying him nicely when he needs bullying and telling him how proud they are of him. They are the ones who saw how William fit into the easy chair and brought him the cot to sleep in.
I'm grateful to whoever stocked the vending machines with ice sandwiches- so even though the cafeteria was closed, we could get him ice cream when he could finally eat.
That Doctor with the impossible name and the leather jacket? The lung specialist who is very positive, encouraging and talked to Dad, TG and William about what was happening in a very matter of fact "We can handle this" way and then talked to them about Assassin's Creed? I'm thankful for him.
The radiologist, who showed William the "Targeting System" on her hand, the dot tattoos, and was also very competent and cheerful. I'm grateful to her.
My friends, when I couldn't say what was happening because my dad is so private by nature, just that "Dad needs prayers" who stepped up and are praying, drumming, and wishing for him? I'm grateful to them.
We know a little more now. Still not enough to have a clear plan or prognosis, but we know more than we did Monday. By next Monday we should know a lot more. He had his biopsy today done by that very cool doctor who plays Assassin's Creed.
The lady in the chapel, when William needed a break from being strong, who told William that God is on everyone's side, and that if he needed to speak to a pastor, he could just go down there any time and ask. Thank you.
The day time nurses are pretty amazing too. They also always take whatever time is necessary with him, and to answer my questions.
Ball Jars- okay, this is a little thing to be grateful for, but it's still there. Those big quart green jars, and the wide mouth lid and straws. You know what they can hold? A full batch of Campbell's Chicken and Stars soup, and the straws are big enough to suck up the stars. So when TG made Dad his favorite soup, he was able to eat it without having to mess with a spoon and trying not to spill on his hospital gown.
I'm so grateful for my family. I'm grateful that I get to spend today with my family, eating the very best the hospital cafeteria has to offer.
My husband who thought to buy dad some chocolate as a treat and has been short sleep trying to work and take me back and forth to the hospital and still manages to hold me tight and be my strength.
My daughter, who wanted to know what she could do because the rest of us had stuff to do, and was thrilled to make his first full meal this week. His favorite- a Boar's Head Golden Classic Chicken sandwich, Chicken and Stars soup and Cherry Kool-aid.
My son. The first time Dad saw him, right after he was born, they were connected. Dad gave him ice cream when he was 3 months old even though I told him not to, William and Dad take care of each other, and have for 23 years. This is hard for William, but he's being very strong for his grandfather.
My brother, who stepped up to the line. Who hung up on me and ran on foot to the hospital when I called because it was quicker than getting to his truck.
Dad, every cranky, contrary, whipsmart, stubborn bone in his body. Because he's survived some impossible things, and because he's going to do his best to survive this one because he has so much to live for- because he wants to spend more time with TG, with William, with all of us, he wants to know what happens next.
So this is really long now, and I'm sure a lot of people didn't read it. But here's the big thing-
Where there is love, where there are family or friends, there is a reason for gratitude and appreciation.