I received a phone call Saturday morning at 8:30 from my dear mother. Lately, any time she calls I hold my breath. I call them. That's just how it goes. When she calls it is either for one of two reasons; something is wrong with my father or she needs instructions on how to use her computer/iPad/phone. Instructions are generally given coming from a thirty-something who doesn't even own an iPad. Teaching her to grasp technology is sometimes harder than teaching a blind man colors.
Stepping back to Saturday morning...I was hazy-eyed and comfy beneath the cool summer sheets when I heard my
phone ringing. I rolled over and my stomach dropped about 10 stories.
She doesn't call early. Something was wrong, and I held my breath. I reluctantly answered and heard nothing but deliberate and semi-panicked yet controlled words stemming from the other end of the line.
"Ryan, you need to come get your dogs. Now."
"Erghhhh, ummmm, okay Mom. I can hop in car and be in there in, I don't know, 6 hours."
"I'm taking your father to St. Luke's. He has a blood clot and his leg is in pain and I just can't handle the dogs."
"Fine, I'll come get them. Can you tell Dad I love him."
And that's how things rolled for me on Saturday morning. You see, my mother insisted on taking care of two out of my three four-legged fools since I had a long business trip and she didn't think it would be prudent of me to board The Natives. She suggested three weeks ago I drive half way to Houston to meet her so she could babysit the beagles. The big-ass mutt was not extended an invitation. He's a good-looking dawg, but apparently not qualified for slumber parties at the grandparents house given his massive size, strength and abilities to eat them out of house and home. I initially rejected the offer of them keeping The Natives for that extended duration of time but she was persistent, and so like any obliging daughter, I agreed.
An hour later sans a grande mocha, I was driving 80 down I-45 to Houston with nothing but Dallas blue skies in my rear view mirror. Three hours later as the rain pounded my windshield and the knuckles on my hands increasingly became more white as I gripped the steering wheel, I received a call from my mother. Praises Jesus. The ultra sound came back negatory. It is some heinous skin infection.
The concern had absolutely nothing to do with his heart.
And so as I drove down the freeway staring at the ugly downtown skyline of Houston I lifted up my arms to thank God that my Pops was cleared of further debilitating cardio-vascular issues.
It's really hard watching your parents age. In my twenties they were still young, active and healthy. In my twenties they were still invincible. In my twenties I couldn't fathom what aging parents meant. In my twenties I was naive. In my thirties I want those sentiments back.
Someone please tell me that as we age, watching our loved ones age gets easier. Half the time I feel like I'm sitting on the sideline watching
when all I want to do is suit up and get in the game and kick some
aging ass. Tell me that accepting the circle of life will hit me one day, and I'll learn not to wish I could control absolutely everything. Tell me that as I myself age, that I too will learn to breath deep and smile and thank God for everything he has blessed my family with.
And so, as I sign off this evening, I give a fist bump to the man upstairs with an open heart and raised arms. Because, he protected my Pops - once again.