Last week was a week of firsts for me. Let me share some with you:
• My dad called me Friday night and I remember being so optimistic. The conversation started when he asked me a lot of questions about my life and my health. He was very interested in the story of my visit to the doctor and wanted to understand as much as possible. I talked a lot. The conversation then shifted and she explained to me how she was in the hospital and away waiting for further results. But she downplayed her health problems and assured me she was okay. I fell asleep exhausted after a very long and eventful week. And I said to Courtney, “I’m going to turn off my phone because I really need a good night’s sleep.” It was a first for me.
• I fell asleep and fell asleep for 3 minutes as opposed to my usual 5 minutes.
You see, I’m like a doll and when I lie down, my eyes close. Our alarm went off at home around 1 am. This alarm is our 50lb dog who sleeps 20-23 hours a day but is always on guard. We woke up and I hid under the bed. I asked Courtney to see what was going on. (By the way, for people who don’t know me, I actually didn’t go under the bed…I went into the closet). We soon learned that it was my sister. What a sight it was, at this late hour. Honestly, it felt like he put his finger in a bowl of her hair and she was half asleep. Jan said, “Wayne – Dad just called and told me to pick him up.” I immediately called my father and got a brief update from my mother who immediately handed him the phone. He then told me the situation and told me 4 words that I would never forget or thought I would hear from him later: “I need your help.” I immediately went into crisis mode and arranged the next morning flight, arriving around 2pm on Saturday. I rushed to the hospital and when I got there she seemed safe. He even told me some funny stories and assured me that everything was fine and it would be fine. If you bet me, I never thought my dad would say, “I need your help.” He was like me, or maybe I was like him. We will give. He was a giver and was always “Mr. Fix it.”
Those words of her asking for help are a complete first for me.
• We have been a bit messy these days with a series of tests etc. and was soon ready for release. During this time we talked a lot about things and at one point in our conversations I asked him if he knew where his new home was. He looked me in the eye and said, “My home is in heaven, but I have a temporary stopover in Orlando, Florida. This is where Courtney and I live. I’m relieved because I want her to go with my mom to Orlando.” he came to live with us – BUT I wanted them on board, and he was in the car! I was on cloud 9 when they were ready to head south. Meanwhile, Courtney was on her way north to help me with this I thought: Good thing, life in memory of dad jewelry for daughter are enjoying Florida with us – let’s go dancing!
• My father was discharged from the hospital and we went to a nearby hotel because
I wanted them to spend the night so I could make sure everything was in order before being taken home to prepare for a move to a “temporary home” in Orlando. I took them to the hotel literally opposite the hospital, while my mother told me to slow down, turn here, etc. I was kidding, of course, but she never liked my driving, even if I had I set up quite a bit clean driving record – except when I got a speeding ticket when Melissa was 3. Just a reminder, don’t tell a 3 year old to keep a secret – it always backfires. We got to the hotel and in the elevator my dad stopped and said, “Wayne, I’m coming down.” I did my best to help him to his knees while mom sought more help for me and called an ambulance. We put him on the stretcher, they left and I told him, I would be right there. For the first time in my life I said to myself: I don’t know what to do. But I pulled myself together and went into “badass Matt Elsey, Mr. Fix it” mode and went back to the hospital.
• We were all in the emergency room together, laughing and trying to figure out our next steps, etc. Everything went well. Mom was exhausted, but optimistic. We really thought everything was fine. Father