Nine Good Fridays ago (2004) I woke up in a panic. I was in my college dorm room in the wee hours of the morning. I had just woken from a dream, and I couldn’t even remember what it was about except that I felt like something was wrong, REALLY wrong. I have always fallen asleep with the TV on, and that night was no different. The tv was playing an episode of Rosanne. Not just any episode, the one where Dan, has a heart attack at his daughter Becky’s wedding. I just started crying and had this overwhelming sense that something was wrong at home, but it was the middle of the night, so I didn’t want to call home.
I sat down at my computer and figured I would surf around for a little while until I got tired again. AOL Instant messenger (AIM) was really big back then and I happened to notice that my mom had JUST signed on. At the same time we IM’ed each other asking why the other was up in the middle of the night. I don’t remember if one of us called the other on the phone, or if we just had the entire conversation online. She explained my father had just had a bad heart attack and was having surgery the next day to put in four stents. I wasn’t planning on going home for Easter but I immediately changed plans and started packing.
I somehow managed to fall back asleep eventually. I got up early and drove the 8 hours home, with a urinary tract infection no less. Luckily my cousin is the nurse at our family doctors office and she had the doctor call in a prescription so it was ready for me when I arrived. I went to the hospital as soon as I got home. My mom had used her hospital badge to use the employee elevator that leads right into the cardiac ICU unit, so we didn’t get stopped at the front desk. My dads sister and her son were waiting just outside the unit in a tiny waiting room. My dad didn’t look well at all; he had tubes coming out of his chest. One in particular was draining blood – a little too much blood. The nurses and doctors were right on top of things and quickly prepared for another emergency surgery. I kissed my dad as they wheeled him away, not knowing if it would be the last time if I saw him alive.
Thank GOD the surgery went well and he was ok. I truly believe something woke me up, and that that particular episode of Rosanne was playing for a reason. It is just too much of a coincidence for me. I went back to school a few days later and heard from one of my roommates how she met this great guy at a bar and they had another date lined up later in the week. One thing lead to another and that guy ended up setting one of his friends up with me about a week later. That friend happened to be Tony, and nine years later, we are still together and engaged!
But back the part about Easter Weekends being bad for my family. Again, I spent Easter weekend with a Urinary Tract Infection, but this time, my cat Oliver had one t00! This past Saturday, my great Aunt Catherine passed away. The next day, Easter Sunday, my moms brother, who lives with her, was taken to the hospital. He has stage four lung cancer and emphysema. I have written about him before. He kept passing out and at one point my parents couldn’t get him to regain consciousness. Instinctively my mom called an ambulance, but then realized he is a Do Not Resuscitate, and wants no machines to ever be hooked up to him. She shoved two oxygen masks on him, the one that is the tubes up your nose, and the other a full nose/mouth mask and he started to wake up. At the hospital his team of doctors pretty much agreed this is it, there is nothing more than can really do. The chemo and radiation aren’t helping, and are only making him weaker. He has double pneumonia so they will give him antibiotics for that and of course his oxygen but other than that its pretty much in GOD’s hands. They said he won’t make it to his sister’s wedding on April 20th. We are all praying he does, but we don’t want him to suffer any more than he has to.