It's amazing to think about how time either flies or crawls... or presents itself in some weird combination of both. I feel like I have lived a couple of lifetimes since Daddy was taken to the hospital on June 2, but then it seems like just yesterday when I first got Mama's voice message on my cell phone saying that he was being taken to the hospital. But I'm not going to write about time, I'm going to write about what I have learned during this time. Of course I won't be able to include every single thing because I am still learning and suspect that I will be for some time, but it's at least a start.
I have learned...
...that the hospital is more happening in terms of social activity than the local bar. Well, for the 65+ demographic, that is.
...that my dog has [update: had, we've had a bit of a lapse as of late] a bladder of titanium. One day/night he spent 15 hours straight in his crate [I know, it's terrible...I have guilt] and I came home to let him out afraid of what I would find. I found a dry crate!! He's the greatest dog in the world.
...that visits from friends in hospital waiting rooms at all hours of the day or night provide a level of comfort that cannot be quantified.
...that a hot topic is AARP Magazine is how to handle a Facebook addiction. I wish that I was making this up, but not even I am that creative. How do I know the contents of AARP magazine? Please refer to the first lesson learned.
...that the human heart has the ability to break with sorrow and burst with joy simultaneously.
...that it's ok for a heart to burst with joy even in times of sadness.
...that if we cannot laugh in the midst of a storm, then we cannot do much of anything.
...that there is a genuine goodness in people that comes out in unexpected ways when they see others are suffering.
...that I need to be more giving of my time, resources, and love to others who are experiencing grief and adversity.
...that God is good. Always. [Ok, maybe I already knew this, but I still believe it even after losing a parent.]
...that when a loved one dies, those of us left behind have to adapt to a new normal.
...that I thought I knew what it was like to really miss someone. Now I'm gaining a whole new perspective on this matter.
...that we have two options when in the midst of a storm: stand still and drown or keep walking through it. I choose to walk.
...that I am not really walking at all. I am being carried. [Please refer to the Footprints poem that potentially hung in a prominent place in your home during the 80's if you don't understand what I'm talking about....or maybe that was just my home that had a framed copy hanging beside my baby pictures]
...that I am still learning as I go.