Sunday, February 28, 2010

My Second Story

About a month ago my dad (who will be 88 in April) began having chest pains. He had 5 bypasses when he was in his 70’s and 2 stints put in in his early 80’s. Three weeks ago, the doctor had him wear a heart monitor for 24 hrs and scheduled him for a chemical stress test. Then my dad’s brother passed away and tests were cancelled until after the out-of-town funeral. When they were re-scheduled, I was sick with sinus and when my dad called on a Wednesday and told me he had a stress test scheduled for that Friday, we both knew there was no way I could go. I usually go with my parents when they have to have tests run, but I was congested, could barely talk plus, I had had a migraine the day before (the kind with nausea) and was still feeling pretty weak.

After we hung up, I prayed that God would go with my daddy and strengthen him so he would be able to withstand the stress test. Thursday I felt terrible all day and I selfishly was glad I didn’t have to go with my parents on Friday because it would mean being tied up in the doctor’s office for at least 3 hours. Then on Friday morning I woke up and felt wonderful. I didn’t know how long it would last, but I hoped I’d be able to clean house and go to the grocery store. (My husband has retinitis pigmentosa and so I do all the errands.) After my quiet time with God, I was getting ready to go to the store, and thoughts of my dad began to fill my mind. I began thinking how his only remaining sibling had just died and how his own mortality must be on his mind, and suddenly I knew God wanted me to go with him.

I hurried and finished getting ready and I showed up on my parents’ door step a half hour before the appointment. I was surprised to see my mother still in her robe. She usually goes with Daddy when he has to go to the doctor. (She’s 86). She hugged me and told me she woke up hurting (she has osteoarthritis) and then she burst out in tears because now Daddy wouldn’t have to go to the doctor by himself. I fought back my own tears and before Daddy & I left, we all held hands and I prayed God would strengthen Daddy and my mother and that the test would result in a good report. Three and a half hours later, we came home. But the odd thing was, it really didn’t seem that long. I had brought my knitting and found some Saturday Evening Post magazines in the waiting room. I love to read so I was soon absorbed in the stories, and the time flew by. I ran to the store and bought what I needed plus some groceries my parents needed.

When I returned with their groceries, Daddy told Mother and I about a dream he had had while wearing the heart monitor last week—that he had died during the stress test. He hadn’t told Mother ahead of time because he didn’t want to worry her. He said it was odd but that during the actual test he hadn’t been worried at all. As I drove home, the compassion and love God showed for my parents hit me and brought me to tears. I knew He had strengthened me and then prompted me to be there for my daddy, to pray for him before the test so he wouldn’t be afraid, and to go with him for moral support. Even though I hadn’t known about the dream or that my Mother wasn’t going to be able to go, God had known.

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