“Are you my daughter?” If there is a more painful four word sentence in the world, I have yet to hear it. It was the utterance of these words that my knees buckled, my heart broke, and instantly I was thrown into a new reality that could not be sugar-coated. While it took only seconds for him to realize that he did know me and yes I was his daughter, the lasting effects of this sentence will stay with me forever.
As I sat in the ER surrounded by the most amazing doctors and nurses, there will be a post about that later, I could only focus on one thing those words and immense joy if one could call it that, my father at that moment knew I was his daughter. While they worked on him I was there. I was watching. I was praying. I saw every fear; I felt every poke of a needle and beep of machine. Minutes felt like hours and hours felt like days. Thank God Iain was able to join us, so there we sat me, my daddy and my little brother unsure of everything in the world but holding onto the one thing we did know that we loved each other and as long as we were together everything was going to be okay. There was nothing I could do except stroke his arm, check his leads, watch him breathing, and smile every time he talked.
It is interesting the things that go through your mind while sitting next to a hospital bed. Should I go to the bathroom now or wait? I hope the doctor slept good last night. I think I might throw up. Please god let mom get here soon. Why would anyone paint these walls this color? Shut up that lady next to us. What is that smell? Maybe I should paint the family waiting room. I am so in love with everyone, I hate everyone. I think of everyone that has ever hurt him and I want to spew verbal poison at them. For everyone that has ever loved him I want to hug.
So as I sit now to write I am filled with joy as I hear my father’s laughter, watch him hold my mother’s hand, the boys tease with their uncle, and the dogs try to clean my dad. The fear is there, it is very real laying right under the surface. My nerves are raw, I am hyper aware of every sound. At any moment I could laugh, cry, scream, or rage. I worry for the people around me because of this, so I have talked to them and apologized in advance for being short. I know this is not going to be the last time we have to rush him to the ER this is what it looks like to love someone with a chronic disease. It is pain, fear, anger, joy, it is every emotion at any and all times, it is the endless question of is this it, is this the moment I will be forced to say goodbye. Thankfully, yesterday was not that day and today will not be either.
“I’m gonna go take a nap.” Is there a more beautiful six word sentence? I think not. Every word, every sigh, every laugh, cough, or sneeze is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen or heard.