It is amazing how your expectations of life can easily change in a single moment. Over these past six weeks as my father has been struggling with his health issues, I have found myself looking at life completely differently. I force myself to sit and do little to nothing. I have started driving in absolute silence, instead of listening to my favorite music or talk radio. I have been praying more and almost meditating more. I have less patience for shallow people and thoughts. I look more to nature for signs and for comfort.
It has been six weeks since I talked to my father. That is unbearable to someone who is used to talking to him almost every other day. When I first started to visit him in the hospital, I was expecting him to wake up and converse with me through blinking eyes and nodding his head yes or shaking it no until he got off of the ventilator. I thought that when he had his surgery he would wake up within a couple of days and all would be okay. But that isn't the case.
My last trip home, my expectations were that Dad would open his eyes when I talked to him and would respond to my commands to squeeze my fingers. This trip home, I had even more expectations, because I had heard he was starting to breathe on his own during the day. I also saw FIVE rainbows on my trip home.
I got nothing out of him today. It hurt, but then again, I have been aware that my expectations have to adjust. Now I just expect him to be calm and comfortable. I expect him to allow me to talk to him and love him. I expect friends and family to help take care of me and support me through the process, but to also allow me some quiet time. I expect people to forgive me as I get prickly, because I don't mean it. I expect to still cry in exhaustion and frustration. I expect the medical professionals to make the right decisions and to help us as we have to make ours. I expect them to care for my father to their utmost ability and to understand that we are people and not just files that cross their desks. And I expect God and the Universe to help provide for all of our needs.
The road is long and has lots of bumps along the way. But I expect to continue to be able to face this challenge head on, and to come out relatively unscathed on the other side.