Sunday, November 25, 2012

A Holiday Interrupted

On Thanksgiving Day, I sit quietly in an uncomfortable chair, keeping the late night watch by my father’s hospital bed. Even though he is 85, it hasn’t sunk in yet that he is really here.

Just the day before, he walked a mile out at the community track, as he has done consistently for the past 40 years. Just the day before, he was expecting to drive to Houston for Thanksgiving at my sister’s house where we would enjoy Mother’s cornbread dressing and a slice of pumpkin pie.

My father has way more energy than I do, and with few exceptions has never been a sick man. But the day before Thanksgiving, while on a ladder hanging his Christmas lights, as he does every year around this time, even though we’ve begged him not to, the ladder gave way and sent him crashing to the ground. The results were grave—an open break, in the worst possible place for anyone, let alone a man his age.

Seeing him here now, in this unfamiliar environment, one leg sprouting steel rods and clamps, is startling, disturbing to the core. He is the family anchor. He sits at the head of the table. My heart aches as I watch him struggle with the reality of his situation, the misery written on his aged face as he winces between pain pills. I want to wrap him in my arms and tell him it will all be okay, that we will wake up tomorrow and it was only a bad dream.

Part of me knows how resilient my father is—it’s been eight years since his open-heart surgery—a double-bypass—and he came through with flying colors. He is a trooper. He is full of life and energy and has such a will to live. He is a prayer warrior and every morning finds him talking to the Lord, studying the Bible. Part of me has no doubt that Daddy can pull through this serious injury and make a full recovery.

Then there’s the other part that wonders just how many more beats are left in his 85-year-old heart. That’s not doubt speaking; it’s just reality. It’s appointed unto man once to die, the Bible tells us, and even though I avoid thinking of this truth, I know that day is coming. But I pray it isn’t today, or next week, or next year.

As the night deepens, I ponder these things, while my daddy sleeps close by.

God is bigger than any obstacle, faith can move any mountain. Prayer is the most powerful force on earth. Of this I am certain. And so we pray that God’s will would be to bring my father back to his full health, to let him walk the track again, to grant him a few more good years with us, so that we may reap the benefits of his presence and his prayers. We believe that nothing is too hard for the Lord. That is what keeps us going. It is what eases our minds when worry would overwhelm us.

For now, we take shifts, lingering here with Daddy in a yellow hospital room, and talk of the golden days of our past, and dream of tomorrow’s hope, when we will all be together again around a holiday table, or just around the breakfast bar for a midnight snack.
***

22 comments:

  1. Dayle, I am so sorry your daddy has to go through all of this. I know it must tear your heart out to have to watch him suffer through pain. What a blessing you are as a daughter to stay with him and take care of him. I will pray for you, your daddy, your mama, and your sisters. Don't forget to keep your strength up, too. Hugs.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm so sorry about your dad's accident. I just wanted to let you know I've prayed for your dad and for you and will continue to do so in the upcoming weeks. God is with you.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I feel the sorrow in your words. You have a great man for your earthy Daddy. Your heavenly Father will look after you and your family.
    Please know that I am praying, also.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Dayle, My heart aches for you and your Dad. It is so hard to see our parents age and their health fail. We just feel so helpless because our parents were always such models of strength for us. God bless you and I am praying for your Dad. My own father was 53 when I was born and Parkinson's Disease took him when I was 21. I hope you have many more years with him! xo Diana

    ReplyDelete
  5. I pray that your dad's resilience will come to the fore and that he will recover fully from this accident. He sounds like a man not yet ready to leave this world for the next.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Ohhhhhh, Dayle. I was so sorry to read about your Daddy. That was awful news. And he works so hard to keep active, walking and all. God be with him and surround him with His angels. I pray for a full and speedy recovery. And God bless you and all your family, too. Susan

    ReplyDelete
  7. Oh Dayle, what a scare! I love what you've said about not succumbing to worry (not an easy task in of itself!) and putting our trust in the Lord's will. I'm joining you all in prayer, and hope for your good news real soon!

    ReplyDelete
  8. So sorry to hear how you spent your Thanksgiving. Hope it is all uphill from here.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hi Dayle ~ I read your post earlier this morning and wanted to come back and say I'm praying for all of you. Blessings.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Sometimes I pray that God will know best and I put it in his hands but today . . . I am praying that God heals your father. Sounds like he has "miles to go" and isn't ready to give up.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hope your father is feeling better soon.
    Merle.......

    ReplyDelete
  12. My prayers are with you and your family. Our God is a good God and He love us so much.
    Hugs, Dottie

    ReplyDelete
  13. Two years ago Thanksgiving my mama fell and broke her hip just before Thanksgiving. I know how you feel. Praying for your daddy and for you and your sisters and mama...it's hard to see your loved one hurting and weak.

    ReplyDelete
  14. No, no, no, Dayle. My heart is broken for you all. I am so very sorry, sweet lady. I think of your precious mom, and all the girls, the grandkids. And your wonderful, like-no-other daddy. Please feel all of our thoughts, prayers, and cyber-hugs. We keep our chins up for you. May the Lord give your dad a full recovery, in Jesus' name. He's well able.

    Blessings,
    Kelley ~

    ReplyDelete
  15. I am just getting to the computer after the Thanksgiving break. As I read the first lines, I stopped and scrolled to the end, hoping that this was an older article with a lesson and ending and not a contemporary one. I see that it isn't and that you spent this holiday with your dad in the hospital. You can count me as one of your invisible warriors lifting him and you (and very much your mom) as we trust God with him. I'll be checking in on you!

    I really do get this one. I spent too many days by my own dad's hospital bed to forget them.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Oh, Dayle...I am so sorry that this happened to your dad. That break sounds so awful - had me wincing as I was reading. Please know that I will keep your dad (and you!) in my prayers.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Oh, Dayle--my heart is breaking for you--lump in throat and hot, stinging tears--prayers for all of you dear sweet friend--

    Even through the heartache what a gift God has given you to be able to express in such exquisite writing what your dad is going through and in turn, your family--

    Thank you for sharing this with us--

    ReplyDelete
  18. So sorry to hear about this accident and the pain your daddy is experiencing. Praying for him as well as your mom and you and your sisters.

    ReplyDelete
  19. You are extremely blessed to have a Dad that is so active and healthy at the age of 85!! WOW ... How amazing.... Praying for him and you and your family!! Terri

    ReplyDelete
  20. Hello Dayle,
    Sorry to hear about your Dad's accident.
    It's a shock to see a parent in hospital and in pain...I felt so helpless when my Mum was in with a broken leg when she was 80.
    My prayers for your family.
    God Bless
    Barb from Australia

    ReplyDelete
  21. Just want you to know that I keep checking my side board in case there is news. I am still lifting you and the family. I would have emailed, but right now you don't need to feel as if you need to respond to anything like that. This way, you can received my words freely as they are intended. Please share with Gayle that I'm lifting my Texas friends, OK?

    ReplyDelete

Dear Readers, I adore your company and your comments. If you ask questions here, I respond to them here, so please check back when you have a chance. Kind regards, Dayle