Monday, September 14, 2009

::His Heart::

My Dad had a heart attack. He has been making self-deprecating jokes about his health for a decade now. But he's not laughing now. They say it was major. They say he should be dead. A twist of circumstance saved him. He hauled his bike out of winter storage and began biking to work this spring. Hours of pedalling every day gave his heart the fortification it needed to let him live.

He says it didn't hurt. It's supposed to though, isn't it? He says it was a weight pushing down on his chest and a tightening in his throat. No pain. He pondered his symptoms. Swine flu? Would pigs be the death of him? He asked to go home. His co-workers knew a very sick man when they saw one and said no. He was in an ambulance and in and out of surgery by 1:00.

Blue hearts. My sister and I followed them to his door at the CCU. My Dad has never been a small man. He looked small to me. My Dad has graying hair and laugh lines around his eyes. I fixated on these things because I didn't want to focus on the fear I felt coming off him in waves. Make him laugh. Keep it light.

I am finding I can't quite grasp the appropriate emotion for a time such as this. I am on auto-pilot. In a zone of practicality I never usually inhabit. I am thinking. What will distract him? What will bring my Mom rest? What will make Connor feel secure? My Dad is indestructible. He tore down a garage with his hands. His heart will not conquer him.

I tell myself these things. But really, I know I need to be down on my knees. Join me. Pray for my Dad's heart.