… and then came this day.

It’s chilling to think that just two days after I wrote this last post about hula-hoops. cotton candy, and my son’s second birthday, I began a journey through the most terrifying days of my life so far.  Just two days after singing happy birthday to Clayton right alongside us (via Skype, of course)  my dad had a stroke. My experience of strokes was limited to people much older than my 59 year old dad. Strokes aren’t supposed to happen to guys like him who eat yogurt for breakfast every day and go on hikes and paddle canoes and chop firewood. When I heard the words “airlifted” and then “Intensive Care” my whole world came crashing down. In six hours time I went to the store to get the food my boys would need in my absence and I prepared twenty four teeny tiny meals for them. I bought a plane ticket, packed a bag, and sent out desperate pleas for guardian angels to preach the word and care for the babies. I fell into a fitful sleep for a few hours and I dreamed I was buried alive. Is this the day the Lord has made, too, just like the one I had written about just two days prior?

Over the next few days we were forced to stare a whole lot of questions right in the face: How did this happen? Why did it happen? What does it lead to? Will it happen again? We heard a lot of theories, but no answers. “He’ll need surgery, but we won’t know when until the doctor tells us” and “He probably won’t have surgery.” He got shots in his stomach and  saline in his IV, and we waited for the doctor. We thought he would maybe come early in the morning, so we started holding our breath at 6 am. What would he say? We wondered, we guessed, we repeated the rumors we had heard. “He’s here!” my brother shouted down the hall to where mom and I were resting in the lounge, and we took off. We needed to hear that doctor. He showed us pictures of the stroke, the bright, glowing white part where the damage was done. It was in a “quiet” part of the brain he said.  A miracle. “This stroke in another part of the brain has a very different outcome,”  he said. He told us all of the medical details, most of which are still a blur. He talked about new medicines and the need to monitor them, but then he said “He will probably forget he had a stroke in a few years.” and he said “He can do anything he wants to do. He will live his life.”  Live his life,  he said, and then he said “He can go home. Today.”  And we cried. Loudly. Tears of amazement and wonder, joy and thanksgiving.

And I don’t understand any of it.  Which day is the day that God has made? Was it that cotton candy hula hoop day on Tuesday or was it Thursday, when my abba left his vacation home in a helicopter and landed in the ICU?

I don’t understand any of it, but I do say, still… “This is the day that God has made. I will rejoice, and be glad in it.”


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