I was no sooner recovering from my post operation - cerebral angiogram, when I booked a flight to Jacksonville, Florida to say goodbye to my father who is in hospice care there (with my neurosurgeon's approval of course). When I arrived at the airport yesterday morning, I could feel a fever setting in. My brother Rick and I made our way to the hospital in time to see our dad and speak with him. While he looks as though much of the life has left his physical body and he is unable to speak, he can respond with facial expressions and nods. We communicated how much we love and have appreciated him, we reminded him of some of the wonderful things that he has done and the lasting memories that he helped create. Lastly, we let him know that it is alright to let go. He teared up in response, as did I, and it was an extremely meaningful time, which I am thankful to God that I was able to have.
Meanwhile, my fever began climbing and my sister Michelle took my temperature. Seeing that it was 102, the attending nurse encouraged me to check in at the Emergency Room. I placed a call to my surgeon who agreed, wanting to rule out infection from the procedure or any chance of malaria from the trip to Ghana. I fell asleep on the floor while waiting my turn in the E.R.. You know when you feel so ill that you no longer care what anyone thinks in terms of what you do? Well I was at that point, so I laid on the floor with a Batman fleece blanket that my daughter Hailey gave me as an early birthday gift. When the chills set in and the air conditioning seemed far too cold, I took my blanket outside to wait on a bench in front of the E.R..
Three hours later, they checked me into a room and ran blood work and other various tests to make sure that all was well. They gave me an I.V. and medicated me while awaiting the test results. I slept as much as possible until I was discharged last night around 10PM. It was surreal to think that I was held up in a room on the other side of the same hospital that my father is in. I visited him one last time last night before heading back to my mother's home for the night.
I woke today feeling much better, and went with my brother to pick up the last of my three siblings, Alison. We made our way back to the hospital and had more interaction, prayer time and meaningful words with our father and with each other. We are praying that the Lord takes him home soon, as his pain seems to be worsening. He has had a long life and has helped many in his years of ministry. He married my mother after my father died, when I was only four years of age. He has been a tremendous provider for our family and gave us a wonderful model of what it means to love your spouse - as he has always been incredibly loving with our mom. He served as a medic in World War II, and earned two purple hearts during his service in the Battle of the Bulge. I will miss my dad greatly and have appreciated everyone's prayers and support during this time. Thanks so much!