I kind of lost the month of September. My father went into the hospital with pneumonia then went straight into heart surgery. At 84 years old with other serious complications, it was a very scary month. I spent many nights sleeping in his room at the hospital and grilling doctors about treatment. Amazingly, he is recovering very well. Still in a nursing home to regain his strength, I think he’ll finally be home in the not too distant future.
Watching a parent struggle precariously on the fine line of mortality is a very sobering experience. You drop everything that is not absolutely necessary and focus on the daily challenge of helplessly watching someone stay alive. Your world narrows to the width of hospital hallways and drop into exhausted sleep at night. And it’s not just the parent in the hospital who is suffering. The other one needs support and protection as well. The rest of the family wants to be updated and kept in the loop. Your life, your real life, fades into a distant, obscure past that you have to struggle to remember.
How odd to be home and back into a normal routine again. I still take trips to visit, but not with the former urgency. Now I can think again about what I’m about. My writing, oh yeah! Where was I? Something about editing my novel and marketing for my children’s book. I feel itchy and excited to write again. Perhaps the month of September has given me new insight, perhaps a new discipline that will benefit my work. That probably remains to be seen. I just know that life is precarious and precious and all the decisions that we make should be made with conviction and wonder.