I took a long break from writing. I needed to be alone in my head for a few months. I am coming back to the rest of the world, slowly walking back to my life before everything changed. The day my dad fell and hit his head, suffered from a stroke that caused serious damage to forty-percent of the right side of his brain. Putting it in writing makes it real- a reality that has been difficult to comes to terms with.
I spent over four months in the hospital between in March and October. That stale, sterile, sour hospital smell still lingers in my nose. The smell that served as a daily reminder of the assault on my family: My father's struggle to live without pain or suffering. Arriving to my dad's room and seeing him crunched into a ball, not knowing if I would find my exceptionally kind and laughing, "dream dad", or difficult and irritable, "brain-damaged dad." Regardless of his state of mind, visiting my dad every day in the hospital provided precious quality time, something we never really had before. Despite the difficulty of witnessing my father face the biggest battle of his life, I treasured the chance to listen to his stories, jokes, and political perspectives. I savored the time to simply hold his hand and tell him what an incredibly inspiring and genuinely kind human being he is. Maybe I never told my dad enough before how much I truly admire and respect him.
Sitting in the hospital day after day helped to gave me a balanced perspective. Although I felt isolated by my grief, I was never alone. Every room was occupied by a patient and a family rallying to provide love and support. Tragedy surrounded us. Some of the patients were doing much better than my dad, and I eyed their progress with envy. However, there were also patients doing worse, and I felt intense empathy because I knew that it could be my dad in their places. It could be me, for that matter. There is so much to be thankful for, so many reasons to be grateful.
This week, after nearly nine months of hospitalization, my dad is coming home. I wish I could be there to see him smile, as I know he will be, to see his precious kitties (hellions Ray Ray and Bon Bon) and be back in his element. I hope beyond hope that this homecoming is the best medicine.
Thank you to everyone who has helped me during this difficult time. I feel your love and I am appreciative beyond words. Thank you.