Miracles have taken place in Akron, Ohio, in my father's little hospital room. All tests thus far have come back negative for cancer. In fact, the mass in his esophagus that worried the doctors most just disappeared at some point this week, proving itself to be irritation from the ventilation tube. My Dad is eating solid foods, is talking much more clearly, and was even cracking jokes with us about his being transferred to the Acute Care for the Elderly, otherwise known as ACE, wing of the building. All of us were anticipating his release any day now what with his constant complaints of boredom. But I got the message last night that that will not be happening any time soon. Apparently the tests were finally run on his heart and he needs Open Heart Surgery, a quadruple bypass. I have every confidence that he will make it through and recover from this, but it is the recovery time, more than likely 6 months to a year, that has me worried the most.
My parents were already struggling financially as it was and having the bread winner out of work is not going to help their situation. Not to mention my Dad is 61-years-old going into this surgery. Is that really something he can recover from enough to go back to working on his feet 40-50 hours a week? I have my doubts. And that is why Jon and I have discussed the possibility of having them move in with us, giving them the opportunity to crawl out from under their financial burdens and creating a more stress-free environment for them both, but especially my Dad. We know that it could be tough, living with two more people, and that it would put a halt to our family plans, and completely end the possibility of relocating like we had been discussing for the last few months, but the most important thing right now is making sure that they are taken care of, and Jon and I are the only ones with the room. Of course, we haven't spoken to either of my parents about this. I've been waiting for a time to catch my Mom alone. For me, it's important that she knows the offer is there, whether she accepts it or not.
It never ceases to amaze me how much a life changing event such as this can help put everything into perspective. For the last four months I have been moping around in this cloud of self-pity. I was a ticking time-bomb on the verge of self-destruction. I felt worthless, beaten, and vastly inferior to every other living being in my life. I wanted to crawl into a dark hole somewhere and never come out again, and what is even more frightening is I can't tell you why, because I haven't the slightest idea. But when I got the call that my Dad was in the hospital I was able to snap out of it. I realized that my problems, or more accurately, my imaginary problems were nothing compared to real obstacles I could face in my life. I can't sit here fearing and loathing the small stuff when I could have it a lot worse.
I could have lost my Dad this week, or I could have been told that I was going to lose my Dad in the near future, and I hate to think what that would have done to me had I not been able shed all of that negativity. I need to be a stronger person, and unfortunately, I am my only source to becoming one. One step at a time.