Ain’t Nothing but a Family Thing

It was a charmed evening until I got the call.  My favorite date and I had lingered over a couple of cocktails and a cigar on one of my regular patios before cabbing a mile north for dinner at a frequent dining haunt.  It was a bit embarrassing as my out of town companion watched far too many people say hello to me before we could even get to a table (it’s just an industry thing.)

We had made our way through a couple of small plates and then I got a text message from my sister: Dad in the hospital with a blood clot behind the knee, call me, call him xxx-xxx-xxxx.

I excused myself as politely as anyone who had received that message could and went outside to call my old man.  We don’t talk often, and our conversation leaned more towards the clinical.

“What has the doctor told you?”

“How are you feeling?”

“What is the course of treatment?”

I say goodnight with the comfort that this is a “serious but routine” condition and that the drugs are the logical treatment.  I am distracted through the rest of dinner, my mind occupied with thoughts of Dad’s illness and how much it is going to cost me (you want to talk about the health care crisis in this country, bring it; because it’s draining my portfolio faster than I can make fun of Rachel Ray.)

Later the next morning, I get the call from a doctor informing me that “the clot has started to move; the pharmaceutical option is no longer feasible and we’ve scheduled emergency surgery for later today.”  I am assured that, just like the blood clot itself, the surgery is serious but routine.

I’ve woken from surgery to an empty chair next to me.  It’s more painful than the site of your incisions, and scarier than any demons I’ve faced.

As inconvenient (and unnecessary according to the docs) it was, I wasn’t going to let him wake alone.  As awkward as it was going to be sitting in a hospital room with a father with whom I have not had a good relationship in a more than a score of years, I had to make the drive.  As much as my feelings were conflicted, my choice was made.

My father was alone, and scared and wanted to be neither.  I was present and emotionally drained and didn’t have a choice about either.

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17 Responses to Ain’t Nothing but a Family Thing

  1. Shannon says:

    Oh, I have so been there with my own dad and his health issues. It’s hard to do the right thing out of obligation, instead of desire, and it’s harder still when you don’t think the assistance will be gratefully received. Give me a call if you need to talk!

  2. I hope all goes well.

  3. Miss Scorpio says:

    The right thing is never the most enjoyable. Thinking of you.

  4. Christina says:

    I hope that he is doing better. It is never easy to be alone in the hospital.

  5. Fearless says:

    You made the right choice. And I hope that one day someone makes a choice and returns the favour.

  6. f.B says:

    Fearless’ hope is my own: that one day someone returns the favor.

  7. Elle Dubya says:

    ::prayers for your father::

  8. redheadwithbourbon says:

    You made the right choice. And even if he doesn’t return the favor (which you have to be at peace about), you know you did the right thing.

  9. kitty says:

    you’re doing (did?) the right thing. one can only hope that someone will someday do the same for you. we should all be so lucky.

  10. brookem says:

    sending some good vibes.

  11. lemmonex says:

    Yeah…I know this. It sucks. I am sorry.

    Also, wish I could be more eloquent, but sometimes it is enought to know someone else knows and I know.

  12. Lazygal says:

    I’ve been the one in hospital, and the one without a good parental relationship. YOU are doing the right thing, and that’s all that matters.

  13. Lisa says:

    That’s so scary. I’m so sorry, and I’m sending you both positive energy. Please let me know if there’s anything I can do for you.

  14. Julie says:

    I’m so sorry about this.. I’m sure you feel as if you’ve been put through the ringer. I’m glad you went though and I have nothing but big hugs for you.

  15. Being a good person means doing the right thing even when it’s the most difficult. Ergo, you my dear, are a good person.

  16. dan-E says:

    I hope everything works out okay for the both of you.

  17. lacochran says:

    I hope you and your Dad are okay.

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