Waiting for a Miracle

October 14, 2009
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The bright sunlight woke me up on that fateful October day. I threw back my purple and green matching blankets and I got up. Knowing that since it was a Saturday, I had a long day of chores ahead of me. I moved so that I was sitting on the side of my bed and slipped on my pinky fuzzy slippers sitting on the floor. I changed into shorts and a t-shirt and grabbed my laundry basket, preparing for the long, boring day a head of me.

I started to head downstairs, but when I was halfway down the stairs, the phone rang. Since I couldn’t reach the phone, I yelled upstairs for my mom to pick up. I continued down the stairs and waited for my mom to hang up the phone. Instead of hanging up, I heard her crying. That didn’t sound like the normal Saturday morning phone conversation.

She ran up the stairs two at a time and slammed the phone back into the receiver.

“Grab anything you can for entertainment,” she said briskly to us, while grabbing her purse and car keys. “I’ll explain on the way.”

What is she talking about? I thought. Everything is going crazy and I have no idea what’s going on.

Confused as ever, I grabbed everything in sight that was remotely interesting to me. I knew from experience that if something big had happened, we would stay at the hospital all day, every day. Thing like this have happened before, and they’re never fun to deal with.

We all hurried into the car and got into motion.

My mom’s eyes were red with tears.

“It’s your grandpa,” she choked out. “There was an accident.”

I didn’t hear the rest of her words. The car ride to the hospital was unbearably long. The seconds ticked by like hours. The wheels of our car pounded the pavement like animals, running as fast as they could to get to our destination. To see my grandpa for what may have been the last time.

We pulled up to the hospital, found a spot to park and walked in.

The bright white inside blinded me. Everything from the couch to the receptionists’ desk was a piercing snow color. Silence surrounded me everywhere I went. Every once in a while the phone would ring, piercing the cold stillness. That hospital smell filled my nose with every breath I took, telling me again and again the painful reason I was there.

Hospitals had always given me the shivers, but this time was worse. This time, someone in my immediate family was the one being watched over in the Intensive Care Unit. Other times, it had just been a distant cousin whom I’d met two or three times. It was much more serious this time around.

The nurse who checked us in ushered my mom into a different room to see grandpa before his surgery. Then she took my sister and me into a waiting room designated just for our family and friends. Clutching my bag to me, I nervously entered the room and gave a quick look around. I soon spotted my grandma in the corner of the room.

Her eyes were red like rubies, shining with the reflection of her tears. They were opened wide with fear and seemed to be stuck that way. Her hair was so messed up; it looked like a rat’s nest. Her makeup was smeared across her face, the result of crying heavily.

A few minutes later, my mom walked into the room after seeing Grandpa for the last time before his brain surgery. I wondered how he looked, if he was unconscious or not, and if he would live through his brain surgery. She sat down and grabbed my grandma’s hand with a look of concern on her face. Her knee bounced up and down, a sign that she was extremely nervous.

Both my mom and grandma dared to think the worst. What if they would never see their husband and dad again? How would they live without him in their lives? He had always been such a big part of our family; it would feel like a huge hole had been ripped out of our hearts if he left us. That thought stayed with us as we prayed that my grandpa would make a safe recovery.

During our prayers, I thought about my grandpa.

That one blue shirt will be forever etched into my mind. The blue shirt was what he was wearing when his motorcycle got hit. The shirt had faded from its original vibrant blue to a sky blue. It looked soft, like the ocean. It matched perfectly with his white hair.

He rode his motorcycle with great ease and stability. He had owned the bike for seven years, and he always said it worked like a charm. That motorcycle was his baby, and he never thought that anything bad would happen to it.

His motorcycle and music were two of his greatest loves in life.

Everything that my grandpa did, he did with music. Cleaning the car, washing the dishes, painting the living room; the country music was blasting. Even his neighbors could tell he was doing something important because they could always hear Reba McEntire blaring through the windows, pounding the road and right into their ears.

After six hours of waiting and thinking, the nurse came in, breaking up my thoughts.

“The surgeon has just told me that he is going into the operating room right now. We’ll let you know if anything unexpected happens.”

After that, she left. And there we sat, waiting for a miracle.

The nurse words kept ringing in my head. What would happen if he didn’t make it through this? How would my life be different if my grandpa wasn’t a part of it?

The police entered the room at that time. The Officers told us that a green mini-van had run into him right in front of McDonalds. Thankfully, there had been a nurse in the restaurant that had come out and called 911. Unfortunately, the woman who had hit him drove away without a look back. The police were still looking for her.

Well look harder, I thought. There were at least three witnesses, she can’t be that hard to find.

An hour later, the nurse came in again.

“Is he going to be alright?” my grandma asked.

“He’s in critical condition as of right now and probably will be for a while. He will be through with his surgery in about in an hour and a half. At this moment, we’re giving him a day to live.”

Just then, my grandma fainted. My heart caught in my throat as she hit the ground. Is she going to be okay? What’s going to happen if she needs care as well? My grandma had always had problems with her blood-pressure, so when she fainted, I almost did too. Having two people from the same family in the hospital simultaneously would be too much to bear.

She woke up shortly. The doctor who came in to check on her was frantic.

“Are you okay? Here put this blood pressure monitor on. We need to make sure this won’t happen again!” he said, handing her what looked like an electric armband.

“I’m fine,” she answered, pushing the monitor away. “Just go check on my husband again. Make sure he’s okay. I’ll be alright; I just need to know how he’s doing.”

The days flew by just like a fast train, and nothing else was on my brain except the though of my grandpa lying in that hospital bed. Or death bed, I thought unwillingly. I mentally slapped myself. Don’t ever think that again! Didn’t grandpa always tell you to be optimistic? I asked myself.

The doctors weren’t allowed to tell us what was happening after the surgery, not even my grandma. We had no status report on his condition for a week and a half. But we all knew what was happening and it wasn’t good. Every day, we would ask the nurse how we was doing and every day was the same reply:

“I’m sorry, that information is confidential right now. We’ll let you know when it isn’t.”

I felt left in the dark. I knew nothing of how my grandpa was doing. I was frustrated and angry at the world for not letting me know that status of my grandfather.

We braced ourselves for a possible funeral, hoping to God that wouldn’t be the case. Trying to be optimistic, we hoped that the ending to this grim story wouldn’t come to this, but we all knew that was wrong. Our grandpa was almost certainly going to be gone.

Then one day in the middle of November, the doctor came into our designated waiting room.

“Congratulations,” he said. “It looks like you’ve got a miracle on your hands.”

I knew it. Through all the negative thoughts, my heart knew it. God really was watching out for me and my family. And my grandpa was on the road to recovery.

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