I haven’t written a lot about what has gone on for the last week here at home. I’ve been in flashback mode a little bit.
Starting on Sunday, my grandson was taken to Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital. He was very sick. I guess he had that kind of 24-hour stomach thing that lasts 72 or 84 hours.
So, I found myself back at the hospital that scares me into next week. This wasn’t my first visit there. I recall the first time. It was really one of the most terrifying nights of my life.
We took my daughter, my grandson’s mother, there for an unknown ailment. We didn’t know anything other than it could be really bad. I was terrified because all the words I heard being tossed around were bad words and a lot of thoughts began to race around in my head that I just couldn’t handle.
Eventually the good news and the bad news came that my daughter had crohn’s disease. The good news was it was not going to take her from us. The bad news was it would not leave her. That was the first of many trips to the that hospital, trips filled with pokes, tears, needles, expensive medication, fear and numerous other emotions.
This week I found myself back at that place. I hope I never return. I found myself in the old nightmare of screams and tears and being helpless. This time I was torn between trying to console my daughter or my two-year old grandson.
I’m not cut out to be anyone’s hero or to be able to come to the rescue in times of crisis. A time of crisis tends to knock my feet out from under me and when it is over, I feel like the useless person in all the movies that fled the scene screaming at the first sign of trouble.
It is easy for me to sit in that scary hospital now and regret that I was not better at being who I was supposed to be there. My wife was so much better at it all. She stood tall while I crumbled.
I don’t have a big analogy today. I don’t have much. I’m just a tired old guy that wishes things could somehow be different sometimes, that children could just be children and not worry about staying in a hospital and wondering what is wrong with them.
My buddy is home now and is on the mend. Yesterday he was at our home running like a maniac through the house.
This morning, I sit here thankful that my little girl has grown up and given us a blessing like Oakley and I’m grateful for all the times he drives me nuts with his boundless energy and stubbornness.
I’m even grateful for all the days and nights in that scary hospital, sitting with my daughter not knowing just how to be dad.
Life never gets easy, at least for me, but is worth it. Every struggle, every trial, every moment of confusion and even the times of sheer terror are worth it somehow. I can’t explain why exactly, it just is.