The Broken Heart
This isn’t what you think it is, but it is about suffering a broken heart.
One week ago, I took my dad to the emergency room for pain and swelling in his leg. Four days later, he had a triple bypass.
I didn’t know this but leg swelling is a sign of Congestive Heart Failure. And he was headed straight for a major heart attack. In fact, he had two heart attacks prior to arriving in the ER.
My dad is my rock. He is the only one that has stood by me throughout my entire life. My mom left. He stayed. He helped me through the middle school years, including puberty and the awkward phase of life. He took me shopping at the mall, when most girls had their moms. All the things that a mom typically does, he did for me.
As any teenager, I would often be embarrassed that my dad would be involved or talk to me about certain things (Periods, dating, ahhhh! How embarrassing!)
Yet, he did these things with honesty and without awkwardness. He encouraged me to go to college, got real with me when I failed at anything and everything, and was firm when he needed to be. I was not a fan of a curfew. LOL
As I grew up, I feel like we grew up together. He very rarely yelled. In fact, when he did, it scared the crap out of me because I knew he meant business.
Most of the time, he would give me advice but would often let me fall. He lives by the philosophy that you learn more by experience and sometimes you learn from the biggest mistakes. Yet, when I did fall, he was there to pick me up.
This journey has not been ideal but it’s amazing what something like this will do for the soul. It breaks you down and yet, wakes you up at the same time.
I eventually got married and moved out. It was the hardest adjustment for us to make. I didn’t realize it at the time, but we were a team. We always had each other.
He has become the best grandpa to my girls. He showers them with love and always takes the time to talk to them, as he did with me. They love to play Uno and video games. The girls have taught him to text and even play a game or two on his phone.
Although we don’t live under the same roof, our connection has grown. We have formed our own traditions and routines, similar to when I was growing up.
So, when we found out about his heart problems, my heart broke. I feared that I was losing the other half of my lifetime team. I know that some time in the future, that day will come and I will have to say goodbye. I just don’t want it to be right now.
So, my emotional heart broke while his was in physical pain.
As I watched him lay so still after surgery, I wondered what life would be like without him and I didn’t like it. I’m not ready to let him go.
When he finally woke from surgery, there was a huge sense of relief. He still has a long road to recovery but we’ll do it together. When the doctors came in the next day, he mentioned that he did this so that he could see his granddaughters grow up. See, he’s not ready to let go either.
Through all of this, he has kept his sense of humor but he’s also been open and honest. Along with the jokes, we have had discussions about “what if”. I know that I will be ok when the time comes, but I won’t be the same. My heart will be forever broken. Loved, but broken.
For now, we will continue to take things day by day. This journey has not been ideal but it’s amazing what something like this will do for the soul. It breaks you down and yet, wakes you up at the same time.
If you cross this bridge with me, take a moment to think of who your person is and what you want to say to them. As I learned this week, nothing is guaranteed and things can change in an instant. Be inspired by one of my favorite John Mayer songs says, “Say What You Need To Say” and then you will have no regrets with the broken heart.
Wishing you love, health and a happy heart.
Till next time.