For years I believed that my dad was the strongest man in the universe. And if not the strongest, at least invincible.
Right now he’s in a hospital treating a very dangerous infection. He’s exhausted. He’s got crazy fevers. He’s got a good prognosis and he’s got a long road ahead of him. His physically depleted state is hard to see and the past several days have been really rough.
We were talking this morning about his night and his new hospital room. There was another fever spike, there were new nurses, and breakfast was on it’s way. There were lots of details to report, but he also had a story to share.
Because of all the testing, blood work, scans, and the bouts of fever spikes, he’d barely slept for days. He was exhausted. And in the middle of the night, at midnight, after he had finally fallen asleep, they woke him to bring him to a different section of the hospital for a CT Scan. They woke him. At midnight. It was ridiculous.
He wasn’t happy. He was frustrated and pissed that they couldn’t just let him sleep and do it another time. He felt bad for himself, rightly so. They wheeled him down to the basement and through the hallways to the CT scan area where he was met by a polite young technician. He was still frustrated. The man was very pleasant. But he wasn’t up for making a new friend.
But he saw this young guy. Doing his job. Being polite. Awake at midnight to do CT scans.
And suddenly he had this realization. his attitude wasn’t going to do anything. He wasn’t a victim. This man wasn’t a bad guy. And on the spot, he shifted and reengaged with the young man and got on with the business of having the best CT Scan experience possible. (and making another new friend)
I’ve thought about this story all day. I’m back to being pretty sure about my dad’s invincibility…his invincible spirit. Somehow he’s learned to look at how he engages in his own life – even in really awful, stressful moments. He’s practiced a lot. And he still enjoys how much he learns from his experiences. Even a miserable midnight wake-up can’t keep my dad from making a new friend with the next stranger he meets.
I love this about my dad.