Tuesday my mom called me at the office, which is unusual. It seems my dad had gone for a regular check up and they were not happy with his heart so he was sent for further tests and it was determined he needed an angiogram and angioplasty. The plan was to go in on Thursday morning and return later that day. By 1:00 p.m. I still hadn’t heard anything and was having a hard time concentrating. My sister finally called and she said that dad needed bypass surgery, much more serious than angioplasty! He wound up having a quadruple by-pass later that afternoon. I spoke to him very briefly this morning, he’s still in ICU.

This event has reminded me very clearly of my parents’ mortality. I don’t think about them dying and don’t expect it to happen any time soon. This is the first time my dad has had any health concern and he starts with a big one! But I suppose it is something we all must face and so of course I began to think about parents dying.

In my family I was born and greeted by two sets of grandparents and one set of great grandparents and a great grandmother. My own children were born with two sets of grandparents as well as three great grandmothers and one great grandfather. All the great grandparents have died now, but all lived very long lives. When my grandmother died two years ago, it was then I realized that in the scheme of things it would be my mom and dad next to go. And in many ways I’m not ready. I have expectations that my father will dance with my daughter and nieces at their weddings just like I danced with my grandfather. But then, I remembered that only I had that privilege, no one else. I want my dad to see his great grandchildren, take them for walks, and cook for them.

Of course there are no promises that we live forever and I am always amazed at how many people I know who never knew their grandparents or their parents have already died. I am grateful we have good genes and that my mom nags my dad into taking care of himself. I am grateful that I believe in eternal life. And I have hope that my dad will recover and live many more years so he can dance at the weddings.


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