Tuesday, August 16, 2005

The Anniversary

Sunday morning Great Scott woke up miserably sick. Miserably sick. (Is it something about our anniversary?!?!) The girls and I left him sleeping and tiptoed out of the house to church, where we arrived (as usual) about five minutes late. My mother pulled into the parking space next to ours. "Your father isn't coming this morning," she said, as she climbed out of her car. "A wrong load of feed got delivered yesterday, and he's taken one of the guys out to the customer's farm to shovel it out of their barn." Not an unusual happening.

I remember thinking that August wasn't a particularly good time to be up in the roof of a barn shoveling grain. Dad's done it lots of times, but he isn't in his twenties or thirties any more, and it would be rough on him. As one of the two partners who run the milling business, and given his age, he really shouldn't be doing any shoveling at all, but I knew my father, and I knew he wouldn't ask any of the regular hands to do anything he wasn't going to help with himself. Mom's call later that afternoon caught me off guard but didn't particularly shock me. "Your father's collapsed. They're airlifting him to St. John's."

The rest of Sunday seems like a month ago. Or a year. Or a lifetime. Not that there was ever any particular feeling of panic, really. Dad was in solid spirits when we got to the hospital. He was calm, good-natured and fairly serious with an occasional mildly mischievious comment thrown in. The doctors confirmed a mild heart attack. An angiogram was scheduled for Monday afternoon. Mom and I didn't leave the hospital until nearly eleven, not for medical reasons, but because we'd innocently granted my dad the pen and paper he'd requested, and he kept giving Mom, his business partner and their manager lists of things they needed to know and take care of. Mom, Jody and Steve stood around in the ICU waiting room grinning, shaking their heads and comparing: "I got seven pages; how many'd he give you?"

Monday's tests revealed partial blockages and signs of another one or more that had likely caused Sunday's problem. Three stents were put in. By the time Mom, my sister and I finished hearing the doctor's report and got back to Dad's room, he was finishing off his dinner, and he showed my sister his favorite trick with the monitors. By breathing in a series of sharp and irregular gasps, he could make the monitor's respiration line leap in a series of jagged peaks and valleys. He found this tremendously entertaining: "Look. I can make it draw Mickey Mouse!" (Oh, alright, I'll admit, we all found it pretty funny, in a warped sort of way.)

Today I'm home and weary beyond bone tired. I've not felt particularly stressed the last two days. No worrying or panic, no what-if's chasing themselves in circles around my mind. Just a lot of waiting, listening, learning and considering. Very calm stuff. Now, though, it's as if all the tension and turmoil that hasn't been emotionally manifested has somehow transformed itself into sheer physical exaustion. Probably not particularly unusual.

And the anniversary? I'm really glad Scott and I hadn't made special plans, that we'd decided to just wait until the next weekend the girls went to their grandmother's. He did bring home a dozen red rosebuds Saturday night, and their slow bloom has been a deeply felt thing for me to see over the past two or three days. Scott's been really uckily ill, and he's taken care of the girls and his own first couple of teachers' days of the new school year all on his own, regardless, without a single complaint. We haven't really seen each other enough to talk, but late every night when I've walked in, the whole household darkened and asleep, these roses have been standing quietly, beautifully opening at my place on the table, bearing witness to his love.

Thank you, Sweetheart. I love you, too. Happy Anniversary.


alaiyo said...

I get chills and this time tears too when I read your serious writing, LuCindy. This is simply lovely.

Love you and so glad your dad is doing well. Prayers continue, as you know.


Cindy said...

Beth--Ironic that the blog entries into which I put the least time, effort and thought (with the exception of the "procrastination aids") seem to be the ones for which the writing is commented on. Be assured the writing was the last thing on my mind with this one. :) (But thank you very much for your kind encouragement. I'll take it!)

Thanks for the prayers. He came home today.

:::and there was much rejoicing:::

r said...

Cindy, I love your storytelling gift.

Continued prayers for you, your dad, and your family.

And for you and hubby. Happy Anniversary to you both.

Anonymous said...

Great Scott said...

Aw, shucks. I'm just glad your dad is better.

David said...

I certainly hope your dad is better! My thoughts are with you. And, happy anniversary! A quiet one, yes, but it sounds like is had a certain hummmmmm to it.

Sue Bohlin said...

I vote with Beth, who knows something about good writing! She's got the education and the experience...I just have a soul that resonates with great, God-glorifying, oooh-that-is-so-good communication.

Ya dun good, Cindy, and so did God, and so did Scott! You are one blessed woman.


Cindy said...

All--Dad is home and fine, making sly, smart comments and happily padding around the house barefoot, not complaining at all about not staying at the office 18-20 hours a day, like he was. :) Sometimes when God smacks us in the back of the head, it's a very good thing.

Rae--Thank you. I feel the same way about your storytelling gift.

Great Scott--I'm glad, too, but I wish YOU were better! Maybe I should hide the immune system dampening M&Ms while you're at school...or eat them all. It would be a sacrifice, but as a noble wife, I would make it for your sake.

David--Thank you for the happy anniversary wishes. I'll tuck them in a pocket and hang onto them until we actually get to celebrate it. :) Not sure about the hummmmmmmmm. It sounded a little more like an aaarrrrgggghhh at the time, but I could be mistaken.

Sue--Beth does know something about good writing, although she may regret having shared so much of her expertise with me over the years after what I did to her tenure paper during last fall's visit! :::grin:::

I AM a blessed woman in many, many ways, and for all the very painful things that have happened in my life, I've never known the Father to NOT bring about an even more intense brightness because of or through them, if I can bear to see it.

Ben said...

I'm glad your dad is doing better. He sounds like quite a card. Blessings to you and your man, Scott, on another 100 years of marriage.