Valuing time

Not long after the ambulance had pulled away, my other sister (my youngest sibling was supporting Dad in the ambulance) arrived. I quickly went over the evening’s events again. Looking at her, I could see the worry and grief of a month of Dad’s illness in her face, her eyes, her posture. I know she can see it in me too- I can see it well enough in myself.

She left soon after to get to the hospital so she could see Dad before work. I lay on the couch, exhaustion making me drowsy whilst I simultaneously waited for news and a more reasonable hour to wake my children’s dad to ask he could come over and watch them whilst I went to the hospital.

I was in the hospital by 8.30am. Compared to the other three times Dad has been taken by ambulance this month, he looked reasonably well. Before long he was taken to an assessment ward while we waited for repeated bloodtests to show whether he had had another heart attack.

Dad was very grateful and apologetic for us staying with him, and for all our support. We kept telling him that we wouldn’t have it any other way: Dad is there for us no matter what the problem.

My sister and I told Dad about the various friends we had who had said how much they love our Dad. One friend of my once said:

“I’ve never really had a Dad. But if I could picture what I’d want in a Dad, it would be yours.” Praise indeed and well deserved.

He’s stubborn and a little old fashioned. He’s stuck in his ways. He still treats me like a teenager if I come home later than he thinks I should. He gives me advice whether I want it or not. He is usually right.

He shows me love every single day. He makes me feel special and loved and worthy. He makes me feel proud of my life because he is proud of me.

I honestly don’t know how long I have with Dad. Part of me is fighting desperately to make the final stage of his life a happy one, but I don’t know how. Other than to show him and tell him I love him every single day… It just doesn’t seem enough.

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