Sunday, June 26, 2016
I sit next to my dad in the hospital waiting room. He is awaiting an ultrasound procedure to see if the swelling in his feet and right hand is being caused by a blood clot. A blood clot that could have happened post shoulder surgery. A week into recovery, his shoulder is doing as good as it can being confined in a sling 24/7 for the next eight weeks, but now there is this pesky swelling. He has had blood clots post surgery before, so there is reason to be concerned.
In the corner of the room a suspended television broadcasts The Weather Channel. On the screen are images of the flooding in West Virginia; whole houses floating by in rivers that have overrun their banks, houses where the water has receded but left behind three inches of mud on the main floor, bridges washed away and people stranded at Walmarts and McDonalds, sleeping in store conference rooms and in booths meant for enjoying Big Macs and french fries. On the television the scene changes from the floods of the east to the wildfires of the west; rubble where ten houses once stood, people standing next to the television crews car being interviewed about how they had lost everything, including their cell phones.
As we watch these images, my dad turns to me and says "I wish I had traveled more, seen some of the things you have seen: Yellowstone, Glacier, The Rocky Mountains. But I wouldn't want to travel on those crazy expressways, I would want to take the back roads." In my best loud voice I say "It isn't too late dad, you could still do it." He looks at me and says "Oh Sarah, at 81 it is too late".
They call my dad's name and off he goes for his ultrasound. I rub my right shoulder, feeling the ache of the constantly changing temperatures.
My dad comes back and we wait for the ultrasound results to be read and the decree from his surgeon.
As we pull up in from of my parents' house an half hour later my dad says "I'm sorry I spoilt your day for nothing". I said "You didn't spoil anything, we found out you just need to stay away from salt, and wait for the swelling to go down, and the best part, I got to spend time with you".