One year ago today I came in from Wednesday night church to a message on my answering machine:
“Melanie, when you get this, call me on my cell phone. I’m on my way to Dothan. Your mama was lifeflighted and I’m headed to the hospital”
I have no idea what else my dad said because that was as far as I got before shutting down the message and dialing his number with shaky fingers.
Because when you’ve endured the worst possible news-the news that is utterly final-it only takes half a second for your brain and body to jump from alright to utterly terrified.
So began nearly three months of trying to help my mother recover from a fall, a heart attack and serious complications from congestive heart failure.
It’s been a year and she’s doing so much better.
But it has been a hard row to hoe as they say in the South.
Papa has carried the lion’s share of the burden.
He’s learned to keep up with Mama’s medications, her doctor’s appointments and plan menus. He’s had to decipher the complex world of home health care, durable medical equipment and getting a handicapped parking tag. He’s cooked, cleaned and kept Mama company since she is unable to go anywhere by herself anymore.
And that means he is as homebound as she.
Of course, poor Mama has had to endure all kinds of medical procedures, uncomfortable hospital beds, loss of autonomy and is now tethered to oxygen.
I am oh, so proud of both of them!
They are learning to live this new life together.
Which is exactly what I expected from a pair that has done just that for over 57 years!