Monday, June 27, 2011

Fairytale moments

I don't think I've EVER travelled as much in my life as I have the last month.  Between the move from Cali, our vacay to Four Corners and our recent trip to St. George, I'm tired of the car.  Why St. George though? My super tough daddy had surgery for lung cancer.  He found out he had it over a month ago and it's part of the reason I came home. 
The reality that my father is not immortal, as I'd always thought, was overwhelming.  I had to realize that the people who love me most were two states away and thats where I belonged.  The surgery went well but I was not prepared for the state my father would be in after the doctors had their way.  He was in intensive care for a day and when I first walked in I saw Superman with a forced oxygen mask on his face, tubes coming from his body, some of them draining blood from the surgery and others pumping medications into him like crazy.  His monitors showed a heartbeat that was way too slow and his breathing was shallow and sometimes he'd go too long between breaths.  I didn't realize he was on a machine at night for sleep apnea and I'd never seen him breathe like that.  I only stayed a few minutes and abandoned my sister with him before he woke up.  A few hours later I braved the creepy ICU again.  He was sleeping and I didn't dare wake him for fear I would either have to see him in pain or even worse, start crying in front of him, so I just sat and watched him until mom came in a few minutes later.  I will never ever forget the way she took his hand and placed a cold washcloth on his forehead or how he slowly opened his eyes completely unaware that I sat in a chair just a few feet away from him and softly said to her "I think I must have died and went to heaven. There's an angel in my room."  Over the last ten years I've watched my dad slowly change from a grumpy old fart into a husband who clearly adores his wife.  He's still got his grumpy fart moments but he's definitely softened.
Watching my mom stand over his hospital bed with the monitors that read his scary heartbeat, tubes filled with blood, and a morphine button at his side was a moment in time I'll always remember and that they'll never fully understand. 
Finding myself single after having planned a future with 4 different men, two who I married and two that ended before the I do's, I've learned that "The Fairy Tale" simply doesn't exist.  That everything I've been told about love and eternity and happily ever after is just a myth, or perhaps I was just one of those girls who had pissed God off enough that he didn't feel I deserved it.  Either way, watching them together in that moment made me realize that while life is not a fairytale, it can have it's fairytale moments and those moments can carry us through to the next fairytale moment.  I haven't found a prince willing to wait for the moments that make the tough times worth while but I suddenly believe he's out there and I can't wait to start our story.
As for my Superman dad, he's doing a little better.  He's still in the hospital, still having pain and still not wonderful but I have faith that he'll be ok in time. 
If I didn't believe that, I think my world would suddenly twist and contort from a fairytale into a nightmare.

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