Today was day three spent with Greg’s dad, Bob, in the hospital. Greg arrived at the hospital early this morning. After taking care of business in Joplin, I too arrived to find Bob having a very rough day.
His enzyme levels show that his heart is stabilizing and that damage isn’t continuing. The next few days will show the extent of that damage. But he said he felt horrible and strange, the worst he had ever felt, and this is a man who survived two plane crashes! He was fretful and sad and he has not been able to sleep.
Greg’s presence soothes him. Yet it is so difficult to sleep in the hospital during the day, with the busyness outside the door and the frequent checking of vitals. I love the quote that talks about not being pulled into other people’s storms, but pulling them into your peace. Greg and I had opportunity to practice this today, patiently answering Bob’s questions, assuring him he is not a burden, which is his greatest concern, holding his hand.
When he felt so strange, heavy and hurting, and was hyperventilating, we turned down the lights, shut out the noise by closing the door, and laid our hands on him. Greg cradled a foot while I held his hand and arm with both my hands, cupping them lightly. I opened my heart and asked God to pour His Peace, His Light, through me, down my arms and through my hands, into Bob’s body. I grew hot, my hands became hot. The trembling body of this sweet man grew still. His breathing slowed to match mine, match Greg’s. And at last, his eyes closed.
It was a beautiful moment. A time of navigating this difficult time with peace and quiet joy. I wish I could say Bob slept like a baby for hours. He did not. Noise in the hallway made him stir. This continues to be unknown territory for Bob, for Greg, for me. We will walk with this dear man, until the day comes that his path strikes off in a different direction. That was not this day.
Greg stayed with his dad at the hospital tonight. He is learning new levels of caring for his father, with patience and acceptance and love. I came back to Joplin. There was just enough daylight left for me to walk in my garden. The air was hot and humid, but peace continued to surround me, and the stillness within me was echoed without.
I bought two new chairs for the meditation area of my garden last week. Tonight I finally unstacked them and removed tags and carried them into the garden. I love how they look there. For a few moments I sat in that sacred space and allowed all the events of the day to rise and pass through my heart. This journey with Bob isn’t easy, especially for him and for Greg. Yet it is the journey we are on right now and journey well we will. Peace and love will guide us.