Rushing Forward

April 7, 2008
I was sitting there reading, then the next thing I know there is a loud crash in the other room. At first I was going to ignore it but then something just didn’t sound right. So I ran into the other room to see my mom trying to pick my dad up off the floor. Since my mom has bad back problems I began to help her pick him up. We sat him on the bed and saw that he had blood on him. We asked what had happened, but he just sat there in sort of a dazed mood. We moved him off the bed and into a chair beside the bed, so I could get the stuff he landed on and my mom could try to find out where the blood was coming from. He had landed on a T.V. tray with a bunch of random things sitting on top of it. My mom asked me to go get a washrag because she found where the blood was coming from, when he had fell on the table he had knocked one of his teeth loose. He was still in a daze, and my mom told me that this was the second time that he had fallen today. You could hear the panic in our voices clearly. We kept asking him loudly, as if he would be able to hear us better if we talked any louder, what was wrong. His eyes weren’t looking at my mom or me. Then his eyes rolled in the back of his head, and he started to shake, we lost it then. We both began to cry. I was shaking so hard, my mom yelled at me to go get the phone and call 911. I dialed; the operator asked what the emergency was as calmly as I could, which was nowhere near calm at all, told her that something was wrong with my dad and where we lived. I was trying to tell her that he had a long history of medical problems, but the words just wouldn’t come out. Finally after what seemed like 5 minutes, but was only about 20 seconds, I shoved the phone into my mom’s face and yelled “Here! I don’t know what to say!” She was shaking also; you could hear it in our voices. We were so scared; neither of us had been through something like this before. Since we live on the outside of a big town we only had a small Volunteer Fire Department, the kind where you know everybody there and their families, they are always the first to show up. The ambulance from the city was on the way, but the V.F.D. men always came in case there was something they could do to help. The first person to show up was Mr. Johnson, a man that we go to church with. Then some more men came in. Shortly the ambulance showed up and began working on him. Our neighbor Katy showed up when she saw the V.F.D. men. My mom had a heart attack about a year before so everyone was scared of who was hurt this time, since one of the two was in the hospital for something. She was there holding my mom and I while they took him out the door and down the steps on the stretcher. Katy convinced us that they needed some time to get him a little settled, so it would be better if we waited for a few minutes. Since she is a nurse we stayed there, but we left before twenty minutes had passed. When we got to the hospital he was in ICU part of the ER. They let us in to see him for a few minutes. The attending doctor came in and told us that they were transporting him to Waco that night. He looked so bad. What had happened was he had had a heart attack. When his eyes rolled into the back of his head he was having the heart attack right then and there. This was his fourth heart attack and the biggest by far. Silent tears carved paths into our faces; he looked so helpless and vulnerable. We held his hand and kissed his head and left. We had to go by the bank and the house so we could get some money and clothes to go to Waco and stay the night with him. We got to the bank and my mom couldn’t find her debit card. She had had it earlier. We went inside to the main bank and told them that we couldn’t find it. It had charges on it that we had never made. In the midst of everything someone had stolen it. We went to the Police Department; the only place they could have stolen it from was at the hospital. While we were with my dad someone had stolen our debit card. The police officer that handled our case was the guy that lived behind us, Mr. Rogers. We have the same last name but he is not kin to us. So we had to sit in the Police Department and fill out a stolen property report while my dad was being transported to Waco. After that we went home to get some necessities and tell my uncle what had happened in where my dad was going. We also called my cousin and told him what was going on. When we got to Waco we got to see him again. They already had a temporary pace maker in place on his leg. His doctor came in told us that only 20% of his heart was working at the time, and that they would be putting a permanent pace maker in the following morning. My cousin Tommy and his wife Paula showed up to stay with us that night. The next morning Dr. Day assured us that everything would be okay. We were not crying but we weren’t smiling either. We had been in the waiting room about an hour when Veronica showed up, crying. The first thought that ran through my mom’s head was, “Oh my God, I forgot to call Veronica!” When Veronica got to us my mother blurted out, “I’m so sorry I forgot to call you!” Veronica shook her head and informed us that Uncle Frank, my dad’s only living sibling died that morning about 5 o’clock. It was quiet for about 5 seconds before everyone started crying. When I was able to talk again I asked, “How did you know where we were?” She replied, “When I went to your house to tell you, I ran into your mom’s brother and he told me.” My dad was the oldest out of seven and he was the only one living. When Dr. Day came out he asked why everyone was crying the surgery went fine. We told him, his face fell. My mom asked him if it would be alright to tell him. The doctor replied that it would be okay. But my mom requested that a nurse be present. I wanted to go back with my mom and Veronica but they wouldn’t let me. When my dad saw them he said, “Why is everyone crying I feel fine.” And they had to tell him. He took okay, but you knew that he was hurting deep inside. We went home the next day. When he went back for a checkup the next week, we got some more bad news. They had put the wire in the wrong spot, they would have to go back in and move it. Dr. Day was upset that after everything my dad had went through that he had to tell him this. But my dad just looked at him and said, “The only person that was ever perfect no longer walks on this earth. I’m not upset in the least bit.” That was in May 2007, it is now April 2008. He has done much better since then, and has had no trouble from his heart. Life happens sometimes slowly sometimes all at once, but that’s life, you have to deal with it.

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