So here I am, in Montana again. 'tis been a while since I've posted. January. Good grief, as Charlie Brown would say. Perhaps 750words.com is a good thing, but I do know there have been times I would have blogged had I not been doing that. Oh, well.
Why Montana, you ask? (Didn't know I could hear you, did you?) Well, I was going to be taking off on Sunday the sixth of March for Rochester, Minnesota, to take a SMART class (Stress Management & Resiliency Training, taught by Amit Sood, Md, head of complementary & integrative medicine at the Mayo Clinic, in case you're looking to enroll in same) when I got news from my parents that my dad had found out (at a Lifeline screening, which was not typically the sort of thing they'd opt for) that his carotid arteries (both of them) were 95% or so blocked & he was on his way to the emergency room.
I printed out the novel I was ready to send out (cross your fingers for The Secret Life of Suzuki England) & took off for Montana instead. 1044 miles the first day. 900plus the second. A new 2 day record. (My 1 day record is Memphis to Albuquerque, which is 1142, but the following day I only had to get as far as Phoenix.) He had the first surgery 3 weeks ago & is out with my mom delivering seed corn today. Second surgery scheduled for tomorrow. Complicated & dangerous but, hey, the first one was too & he did great with that. Definitely cross your fingers for my daddy...
After the first surgery, the vascular surgeon asked my mom to gather her peeps (not his words) in the small waiting room so he could report to us, as the entire surgery waiting room was full. She said everyone was here for my dad. "Is there anyone not here for John Hjelvik?" he asked. Not a single hand was raised. At the followup appointment he asked my dad if his support team was coming again & said he'd seen the waiting room full (30 or 40 people) but it was usually 10 families... My dad is well loved & he deserves every bit of it. (& my mom as well, I should say.)
I've played a bunch of cards, helped sort new baby calves & their mamas from the mamas-to-be in muddy corrals with my sister & her husband, visited with my ex-inlaws, helped mom move a bunch of my (r.i.p.) great aunt Lila's clothes out of a closet & on to Goodwill, where I hope someone will get some good use out of them. Sundry & various other things. Now I'm about ready to be home, after this surgery & a visit to my son & his fiancee & a bunch of friends in Minnesota. Funny, how you can be just fine with being away from home & some little internal switch toggles & you're ready to be back yesterday. It has been a really wonderful time with my folks. I can hardly imagine anyone having more fun with their parents than I just did, for several weeks & lots of hours.
197. Consider the mortality of someone you love deeply. Get as okay with it as you can. Consider that we all go out feet first & our job (until we're the ones feet-firsting-it) is to continue living & loving.