Thursday, August 8, 2013

The Dreaded Late Hour Call

My father and I share the same eyes, hair color, and the family pre-disposition to poke fun at everything, no matter the situation, regardless of social etiquette.  So it seems fair that in this morning's conversation I jokingly accused him of attention seeking while he referenced Monty Python's Holy Grail with a slurred holler, "Bring out yer dead!"  Normal banter, but bittersweet today as he was flown by helicopter to Yale New Haven Hospital in the wee hours of the morning with an aneurism.  I missed the frantic overnight call from my Mom but I was relieved this morning to hear everyone alert and as calm as one can be given the circumstances.  I have never been so painfully aware of every mile between Texas and Connecticut.  To end the call knowing I am at least 24 hours of travel away from home, hollowed like an internal sink hole of desperation.
The seconds between noticing that out of place missed call at 12:39 a.m. until hearing my Mom's voice felt like slow motion running in mud.  It's like a nightmare being chased by all the negative outcomes and fears of what she'll say, how her voice will sound, or even who will answer at the other end.  With every phone ring  I found myself saying, "no, no, no,no,no!!!" Louder and louder, my dogs bewildered at my feet.  And then the huge relieved sigh when I hear her: voice steady, matter of fact, with that barely noticeable trace of panic (my Mom wears stress like everyday shoes!), "Yes, your Dad is stable, awaiting surgery and complaining because he can't have a snack or a cigarette."  Yep.  That's my Dad!
Over the past weeks, I've watched my friends go through long hospital scenarios with their husbands, mothers, and even one dear friend who unexpectedly lost her father just a few days ago.  People in my family tend to stay healthy well into their 90's, so I have had the privilege of avoiding such heartaches until now.  It's a very different empathy today than I had yesterday.  The understanding of potential loss, things left unsaid, minutes and hours taken for granted.  All the memories floating in like an old-timey snapshot slideshow as we wait for the doctor's next words. 
 So to all my friends that have struggled over long hospital hours, for the ones still fighting for their loved ones, for a special mouse-maker who continues to be a champion for her husband, and my dear friend who sadly will attend her father's funeral today; I reinforce my hugs, strengthen my prayers for you and understand with a fuller heart.


  1. Jacquie:
    My heart is heavy with your news. I am also sad that reality has hit you so hard. It is this fear of losing a loved one that stopped me in my tracks and I could not function for a year. You are so right in reminding yourself to treasure to minutes, seconds, and any moment with those you love. I hope you can go visit your dad just to ease your worry. I will keep him in my prayers and for you...remember we all love you and will be thinking of you.

    1. Thank you for your thoughtful words. I am flying home today to be with him. HUGS!

  2. I understand those late night phone calls and sympathize with your situation. I lost my daddy last July. Truly not something you wish on anyone but, alas, a part of life. My best to you and yours. Hope he fares well through the surgery and you can share those misplaced thoughts and words you need to speak.

    1. Thank you Vicky! So sorry to hear about your loss. I guess we just assume our parents will live forever. Hoping you are comforted in the happy memories of a life well lived! HUGS!

  3. Jacquie, my heart sank when I saw your blog title, the late night phone calls come fast and furious the older we get and they never, ever, ever get easier. Sending healing energy and positive thoughts to your Dad that he comes through surgery with flying colours and sending support, hugs and much love to you and your family as you go through this heart wrenching time. You are all in my heart, Deb xoxoxo

  4. Good evening, Jacquie,
    Will keep you and your Dad in my thoughts and prayers. Keep us all posted...

    Take care ~Natalie

  5. Oh Jacquie. Keep the faith. I am praying for your Dad, that he recovers and is well again. My thoughts are with you. Metta Metta METTA. Love you girl. Robin

  6. Jacquie,

    How familiar so many of us are with those late night phone calls. Praying for you and your family during this stressful and scary time.


  7. Jacquie, your Dad and you and your family will be in my thoughts and prayers through this stressful time. Hugs, Bette

  8. HOW did I miss this one???
    Have me a good feeling about this one. Yale New Haven has an EXCELLENT rep for snipping, nipping and fixing these cases, guanteeing stronger vessels once repaired. I am so saying my prayers and thinking of you and your family as you "wait this one out". Sending so many good thoughts, L