“Squished up like a raisin” is not the description you want to hear about a lung, but that is the way the doctors described my Daddy’s condition this week.
A few weeks ago Daddy got sick with the flu that turned into a sinus and upper respiratory infection. My crazy Daddy (also stubborn as a mule) finally went to the doctor and got medication, but at the time it was supposed to work, his condition actually worsened.
Being the stick-it-out, toughen-up kind of man that he is, he failed to call anyone early enough. Pneumonia turned into Empyema. This condition causes the infection to make the walls of the lungs stick together and keep the lung from inflating. He soon found himself carted to the hospital by my baby brother with little choice in the matter.
“It was as bad as a lung could get,” his doctor said. Had he waited a day or two more, the infection might have taken my Daddy to heaven.
I’ve been here before. The long hours in the hospital… the prayers… the waiting… the two steps forward fives steps back… and I ended up saying goodbye. I didn’t want to be here again.
BUT I get to keep him this time.
I get to keep him… this time.
I have a deeper understanding of what this walk looks like than I did 9 years ago. I know that prayers aren’t guarantees that we get what we want. I know that righteous living and obedience don’t keep us from pain and death. I know that God is at work in the good and the bad. And I know that one day I will not get to keep him.
So I have stared out of hospital windows, wrangled kids in small spaces, straightened blankets, gotten ice water, tried to coerce a grumpy man into doing breathing exercises, begged him to talk to doctors sooner next time, and exhaustively thanked my God for more time.
I have seen many of my friends say goodbye to parents over the last few years, and I have seen some recover. Some undeserving are still here and some deserving are gone.
I don’t understand, but I will trust the One who knows what He is doing in all things.
I don’t have a lesson in a box or a scripture bow to tie on this week. I merely have a grateful heart, because…
I get to keep him this time.