This past weekend I did a whole lot of nothin' but a whole lot of somethin' with a lot of heart and with people that mean so much to me. I didn't want to be anywhere else.
This little miss turned 3. The joy in her heart and in her smile as she twirled around in the skirt her daddy bought her was infectious. I just wanted to watch her play all weekend.
I can't believe it was 3 years ago that my dad was having open heart surgery on my mom's birthday, which is now also Sophia's birthday.....and I was just a girl who wanted to be in 2 places at once. I had always planned to be at Sophia's birth but when the doctor's scheduled an emergency surgery for my dad I was torn. I purchased a plane ticket that would have me with my mom for one day and then back with my sister the next afternoon.
I couldn't imagine not being by my sister's side, watching my sweet nephew while his sister was being born into this world but needing to be with my mom while my dad's heart was being opened up to the world of doctors standing over him. I'll never forget that day sitting in a hospital waiting room with my mom early in the morning....just as we were seeing my dad off to surgery, the phone rang and it was my sister saying Sophia was here. My dad was able to hear those words before he was wheeled away. I wanted to be with my sister that day but I wasn't.
That day was one of the longest days of my life as we sat in a large waiting room with 75 or more people. I sat working on my laptop because I couldn't really take the day off even though I was 450 miles from my office and my mom knitted away on a scarf that she wasn't sure who it was for or if she would even finish it but it made her hands and her mind busy.
I made a Starbucks run, or two that day. Not because I needed another one but because I needed a change. My legs needed to walk and I needed to look at faces that weren't those of faces waiting to hear how their loved ones were recovering.
All day my mom and I talked about where we would go for her birthday dinner after my dad was out of surgery. We tasted everything in our minds from chili fries, to enchiladas, to pepperoni pizza, to spaghetti with meat balls to cheesecake. We weren't hungry but we talked as though we were. It was an easy way to escape the waiting.
We never had any of those meals we dreamed of that day. We settled for McDonald's in bed at our hotel room at 11:00 that night. We were finally hungry but everything else was closed.
As the day of my mom's birthday, the day sophia entered the world and the day of my dad's heart surgery that would add healthier years to his life went on, we still sat in the waiting room and sat some more. The room that once was filled with many families and then exchanged for the next round of families and the next and the next until my mom and I were the last ones waiting there. Why us God? What did this mean? This type of waiting room had no desk, no little old gray haired lady that didn't know any answers but tried to say the right thing to simply buy some more time from your heart.
I remember thinking on this night, thank goodness that American Idol was a 2 hour show because we needed something to help pass the time and to help drown out the sounds of the vacuum cleaner while the janitor cleaned the room right under our feet signaling to us that for the rest of the hospital, this waiting room was closed for the day.
We were still there.
My mom was more patient than I was or at least she seemed to be at that moment. I remember getting up and pacing around trying to find a soul to ask for our doctor. To give us something. Nobody was to be found. I rationalized out loud and silently that "was no news really good news"? Finally I went back to my mom who had even given up on her knitting and said you are his wife they have to give you some info. Nobody had any information.
Finally a doctor came out to tell us that dad was fine and we should wait until tomorrow to see him. 13 hours of waiting and we can't even see him? He said we wouldn't want to see him. We did see him but he was fast asleep.
A call to my sister to give her an update, see how her sweet baby girl was doing, kisses to her and my nephew and then realizing a birthday celebration was not going to happen. McDonalds in bed was what the doctor ordered on this day.
Yesterday, the same day 3 years later.......
I was snuggled on the sofa at my sisters with my niece and nephew.....just the 3 of us. Tears streamed down my face from pure exhaustion of what work had been the past few weeks coupled with the pure joy of this simple moment. I couldn't stop the tears. I didn't want to. I wanted to feel it all to it's fullest and in the depths of my heart. I wanted time to stop so I could hold onto this moment because they don't happen often enough and this time I was here and I didn't want to be anywhere else.
I was so happy to be with them yesterday and pushed every thought aside and just soaked them in. Marcus moved my arm so he could hold my hand and Sophia laid her head on my shoulder and kissed my neck saying "I love you so much AA...I happy now." I said "oh Sophia so is Auntie I am soooo happy."
They have no idea how happy they make me......no idea.