I aged an entire year in the last week. At 6:45 a.m. the morning after I posted about Boston, the phone rang. It was my mother calling, very upset, from the East Coast of Florida. She had just sent my father in an ambulance to the Emergency Room. He ran a fever overnight, and then his gut exploded in pain. Several hours later I find out he had a ruptured diverticulum and needed emergency surgery. I call Wine Guy, relay the facts, and he says, “This is bad. You need to get over there right now.”
Oh my G-d. My kids were supposed to start school the next day. Wine Guy had a full schedule. I’m walking in circles. I get the kids together in a flash, drop them at Wine Guy’s office. I hastily write directions and permission for his nurse to take the boys to school and pick them up. I drive 80 mph across Alligator Alley and make it to Delray Beach in less than 2 hours. I find my mother in the surgical waiting room as they were taking my dad into surgery. Another flurry of phone calls reveals that Doctor Brother cancelled his patients and was flying in ASAP.
We sit and wait … and wait …. A few hours later the surgeon calls us out of the waiting room to say the surgery was a success. He only had to remove about a foot of large intestine, but he had to perform a colostomy on my father. My mother’s face nearly fell on the floor. When I asked him to repeat the specifics of the operation, he retorted, “Why? Are you a doctor?” No, I’m married to one and related to another, and they’re going to want specific information, you jerk. He gave us an approximate time when my father would be transferred to the Intensive Care Unit, so we waited some more. My mom went for a bite to eat while I waited in the lobby for Doctor Brother. [He’s one of three brothers: The Eldest, Doctor Brother, and Lawyer Brother.]
DocBro finally arrived after a delayed flight. We finally were allowed into the ICU. Found Dad awake, intubated and pretty groggy. The nurses and doctors were having a hard time stabilizing Dad, so we finally left. We had a late dinner with my mother and turned in early. We had a leisurely morning the next day b/c ICU visiting hours started at noon. It was nice having a quiet morning to read the paper and catch up with DocBro about his family.
We found my father awake and extubated when we arrived. He was alert and in a lot of pain, but he looked pretty good after surgery. We visited for the requisite hour and left. After lunch, we came back to another glad surprise: Dad was sitting in a chair and fully alert. DocBro left to go home that evening. I stayed on with my mom another night. I checked in on Dad the following morning and drove back home.
I arrived at school in time to pick up the boys. They were excited to see me, and I was so happy to see them. Wizard hugged me so hard I nearly fell over! The joy was short-lived, however, when homework time came. Wild Thing fussed and fumed over his work. Misery. Wizard got his done quite efficiently. The next 2 days were filled with the return to school routines: lunches, homework, bedtime, etc.
By Friday evening, we were ready for the weekend. We attended a cookout at the beach with our new synagogue. It was warm and muggy and breezy, but relaxed and comfortable. A retired rabbi led us out to the sand, where we gathered in a circle. He led a brief but beautiful Sabbath evening service. It was cathartic and joyful singing remembered melodies and prayers to welcome the Sabbath Bride. Wizard was able to follow along with some of the service. WT and Moose just played in the sand. Somewhere between V’Ahavta and the Amidah a Great Blue Heron soared over our heads and landed on the beach. We watched, captivated, as he strolled along the beach. A few minutes later someone spotted 2 dolphins feeding in the pass. It was bliss. The sun was setting against a cloud-filled sky. Thunder rumbled in the distance as we said our closing prayers. I was filled with such peace.
Not for long. Soon enough there were showers on the lanai and bedtime. I got up early the next morning to drive back over to the East Coast to see my dad. Wizard had gotten up early and finished all his homework, so he came with me. Dad was so surprised to see me and Wizard. It really cheered him up. We chatted for a while, and then the phone rang. My three brothers were calling from Israel to speak to Dad. Dad was overcome with emotion to talk with his boys. Eldest lives there with his family; his daughter was getting married that weekend. The other 2 brothers and some of their families were there to attend the wedding. The moment Shabbat ended in Israel, they picked up the phone to talk to Dad. They told him they would use the cell phone to call him the next day so he could hear the wedding. What a wonderful gift modern technology is.
Wizard and I drove back home and met our boys at the annual Back To School party. It was circus-themed, cotton-candy-fueled, face-painted chaos. The kids loved it. The next day all the boys went to Sunday School, and WineGuy and I had a quiet morning to ourselves to read the papers. WineGuy got stuck with WT and Wizard while I took Moose to a gymnastics birthday party. WT wasted hours fussing and fuming over homework that should have taken 30-40 minutes. That nonsense killed any plans to go out to dinner that night. The boys had sandwiches. WineGuy and I shared a bottle of wine and some cheese.
I hope things calm down now. I could use a break.