Friday, April 9, 2010

Thank You

Today Im writing a note to God, Buddha, The spirit of my Grandma Thel, My Grandpa Buddy, My Grandpa Hank, Angels..................I actually dont know who Im writing this to. I know I am a very blessed woman and someone, or something, has been watching over me for most if not all of my life.

This particular time, who or whatever is out there watching over me, did me and my family a big favor.

My dad is alive.

A couple of weeks ago in the middle of the day he called my mom saying he felt "off" and dizzy and queasy. She was asking him questions and he said he was upset over a battle with his computer and was hungry. She and I thought he should go to the hospital and get checked out but he insisted after eating that he felt "better". We werent happy with that result but we all know our own bodies and we figured maybe he just upset himself about the computer and maybe it was just hunger.

Unfortunately him feeling "off" continued for another week until he finally went to the dr. They found an elevated enzyme which indicated that he had most likely had a mild heart attack the week before.

They ordered a stress test. 2 days later he was about to take the test when the dr came in and pulled the plug on that. He didnt like that the enzyme was still elevated and said the better thing to do was schedule an angiogram. The angiogram would conclude 100% what was going on. The dr didnt think it would show anything and most likely my dad was fine.

This Monday after a weekend of camping with the entire family at Cardiff, we packed up our trailers and headed to our separate homes. A few hours later I got a call from my dad. I could hear in his voice that he was wanting to talk. But when I opened up to having a conversation he kinda blew me off like everything was fine. We said goodbye and hung up. I had an uneasy feeling.

A few hours later he called me again. This time he said what he needed to say before.

"Angie, I love you, you're a good mom and you have done a great job with Keir, you're a super good girl and you're fun to be around and you know the guy for you is coming for you don't you?"

I paused. Was this really happening? Was my dad calling me to say goodbye in case something happened tomorrow during his procedure? What do I do? What do I say?

Well all weekend I had been so teary. I cried at the drop of a hat. Everyone kept saying "I've never seen you like this" I agreed. Neither had I. For whatever reason I was just sad. Now maybe it was all making sense. Somewhere deep down I was worried that Tuesday things werent going to go well for my dad.

As my dad was silent on the other end of the phone I still pondered on how to respond to what he was saying.............All that could come out was "I dont know"

My dad said "Well there is a guy for you Angie and I need to know that you know that he isnt in town yet but he is coming" I still couldnt grasp what was happening. My dad was saying goodbye to me and he wanted to make sure I was okay and that someone was coming for me to share my life with me. I knew I had to say something because I had to reassure him that if something did happen to him I would be ok. So I said "Yea, okay dad, I believe you" "He is out there"

He was choked up and said "Ok, good, youre gonna be okay then?" I said "Yes"

"Dad?" i said

"Yea Ang?"

"You wanna talk to Keir?" i said

"Yea, I do"

He and Keir talked a bit and all I could do was finally let out all I had held in all weekend. The little well up of tears that came and went all weekend I couldnt control any longer. I just sat and wept for I dont even know how long...........Keir was in shock. She had never seen me just burst into tears like that. I realized now I was scaring her. I had to get it together for the moment. Once she was in her room, I cried myself to sleep.

The next day dad went in for the angiogram. An hour later I got the call from my sister. I think the worst part of the call was her pause and deep breath and then

"Ang?" she said


"Well he has 3 arteries that are not good and they are going to do surgery right now."

I just kept saying in my head, thank god he is at the hospital and they can do this right now.

And thats exactly what happened.

I waited an hour for the next call.

This time Jenny just said "Ang he is okay, he is being taken to recovery"

Once he came out of the anesthesia I headed to the hospital. The whole day was a blur and I cant remember all the things I did until I got to the hospital and heard my moms famous whistle when I walked through the hospital.........Guess I passed his room and she saw me so no need to come grab me.........just whistle. ;-)

Remarkably he looked great. Tan, mellow, relaxed and most important. Alive.

The dr had told him not to surf Easter weekend. He surfed anyways. So when I saw him I was still in shock and a little pist off that we had found out my dad had failed to tell us the dr's order until today. I felt relief and a little bit of anger and wonderment. How could he surf after the dr told him not to? He could have died. Doesnt he want to live? Doesnt he love us? Doesnt he know how much we love him? All very selfish thoughts. Once I got close to him all that mattered was my dad was here with us, talking, joking, laughing and the main thing. Alive.

We all hung around the hospital long enough to make sure the nurses felt he was doing well. Fed him dinner and just as I was about to leave I had to know............"Dad, why did you surf when the dr told you not to?" "Dont you know how much this family loves and needs you?"

He said "I just had a bad feeling and if that was my last weekend on earth I had to surf one more time"

Wow. That was a major shot into my heart and soul. So he didnt think he was going to make it. He really did call all of us to say his goodbyes Monday night.

Its Friday now and I am a very grateful person. My dad is alive and well. He is doing good and can even go back to work on Monday. Seems crazy but thats the deal.

I wrote this in the hopes that some of the anxiety Im feeling would subside. I just cant stop thinking "What if". What would life be like without my dad? My god. I just perish the thought.

So like Meg said "We dodged a bullet". My family is still in tact.

We will still go camping in 2 weeks to Doheny
We will still go to the Balloon and Wine Fest in June
We will still celebrate Father's Day
We will still celebrate My birthday and my daughters birthday
We will still make plans for the 4th of July
We will still have
morning coffee
phone calls
We will still have all of these things......................with my dad.

Without him all of the things that make this family so special just wouldnt be the same. I dont know if life would ever be the same. The "What if" will subside but the pain I am feeling now sure hurts like hell. I could have lost my dad. My best friend. I know my dad is okay now and that the surgery saved his life and everyone is saying the pain and anxiety I am feeling will pass in time.......I get that. For now I will just go through the process and let my heart heal from what could have turned out to be a whole different scenario. One that I cant help but imagine.

Sometimes when my dad stops by in the mornings before I go to work I am tired, cranky, busy, rushed...........well lemme tell ya........there will forever be a pot of coffee ready at my house in the morning and I will cherish every sip as I stare across my table

at my dad.

So thank you to that God, that spirit, that angel.................or all of the above.........for not taking my dad yet. Its not his time..........lucky for us they all agreed with me. Its not time for him to leave us. He is still here. Tinkering in the garage. Gardening. Reading. Napping. Watching tv. Eating better. Laughing 30 minutes minimum a day. Taking all types of new medications. Going to a car show tomorrow and Im sure............counting the weeks, days, minutes and seconds until he is cleared to surf. Go for it dad. Surf to live, Live to surf ;-)
I love you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Melissa said...

OH bun...I wish I knew you posted do I get a notification when you blog??? You always tell me!!
Well of course I know all of this by now..but not the makes me teary to read. Thank God Papa Hank is OK and now he has to take care of himself for his wonderful loving fam and always..the Willems LOVE YOU!!

linda said...

Incredible blog Ang. I was in tears reading it. The whole family would have been devastated had the other outcome been the case. Yes, Henry is loved and cherished by all of us. We need him here for a lot more time. The angels are on our side for sure. Keep the Faith.. God is still on the Throne!. Love you.