Saw my Dad earlier this evening at the hospital…he went to the emergency room earlier this morning and is in the ICU…his open heart surgery was a success a couple of weeks ago, but he has not been doing well in his recovery…he's still not feeling anywhere close to better…..and I'm worried about him, more so than I ever have been after my visit with him this evening….in the numerous times I have gone to visit him at the hospital and at his home ever since this all started around the end of October, I somehow never thought the end could really be coming for him soon…was optimistic that he would recover…and never teared up once in fear that I was going to lose him, even though I knew this was serious surgery he was going to undertake, and the fact that he is up there in age making it all that much more scary…Sure, I was worried, but never as much as I was tonight…My sisters had been visiting too, but they left before me, and I was the last person with him before visiting hours were going to end….
He asked me to come close to him…and he asked me to please never make the 100 minute drive to Columbia, Missouri in my own car(I go there several times a year to go see my favorite college football team play, and occasionally a basketball game too) in my car by myself ever again…because he worries something will happen to me..he never said anything like this to me before, but I figured he was thinking in partiuclar about my last trip back from there to St. Louis from Columbia a few weeks ago after a football game, when I drove back at night, and my car hit a dead deer in the road(there was no way to avoid it–saw it literally about a half-second before I hit it, and when I had to pull over to the side of the road to assess the damage to my car, there were about three other cars also on the side of the road who also apparently had the misortune to hit the dead deer)…I told him not to worry, that was just a freak thing that happened, that I've been driving down to these games for years, etc. But then he got emotional, said he has always worried something might happen to me on those drives to and from Columbia because how dangerous the highway can be, and he thinks it gets increasingly dangerous all the time…so he asked that from now on when I go there, go with a friend, and preferably have them drive because he worries about my vision not being good, or something to that effect…
It sounded like a request being made by someone who thinks their life is about to end….and so for the first time in all the weeks he has been ill, I cried…Because I felt like I might never see him again after this night and it's just so hard to see this kind, loving, upbeat man who has been mostly the epitome of good health throughout his life all of a sudden so weakened and depressed … And it's frustrating because the doctors keep saying everything looks okay with him–his vitals are all good–etc…But…I guess he is just discouraged because he's not getting better as quick as he thinks he should be, or something like that, and it's getting him down and making him think he's never going to get bettter….He's just so down and depressed, and it's so heartbreaking to see him this way….Anyway, I almsot feel like if I– if he–can just make it though this night and into the morning without a dreaded phonecall to me informing me of the worst possible news, that he will somehow be in the clear….And obviously, that would still be far from a certainty at this point, but…that's how frightened I feel that those were the last words from my father to me….
I don't really know how to end this….but thanks to whomever out there might have read this.