It has been a year since my 78 year old father had to have a triple by-pass. The year that followed was at times the most emotionally painful, and yet looking back, in some ways the most precious time I had. It forced me to slow down, to basically get off the bus of life, and put all my energy into helping my Dad get better.
If there was a complication from major surgery he had it, and every one of them. The most difficult time was watching him to learn to breathe all over again. A smoker for over 40 years, his lungs and body felt the compromise as he struggled to get better each day. And although he hasn’t smoked in 20 years, each day was a struggle for his lungs. If I could give one ounce of advice to anyone, it would be to put down the cigarette. And if you haven’t smoked yet, think twice before you ever do. I’ve watched the pain my friends have gone through when one of their parents slips into eternal life, but never did it seem so much closer as it did last year. Often worried that Dad might not get better, it became real to me.
The year of recovery also allowed me time to ponder thoughts that none of us want to deal with- the inevitable aging of our parents. I often take mine for granted that they’ll be here forever. I am happy to say that a year later, Dad might not be what he was, and 30 pounds lighter he struggles to keep his weight on these days [we should all be that lucky], but he’s here! And what I have learned to embrace is the beauty in aging.
During the year I spent living with Mom & Dad, learning far too much about the nursing world, and more than I care to know about oxygen machines and breathing apparatus, I had plenty of moments to look at them. Really study their faces. The gray hair, the wrinkles that I never remembered as a kid. And as I studied them, I found beauty in those lines. Each line tells a story of where they’ve been, what road their life took. The worry lines from the times they struggled to make ends meet, and the smile lines that surely came from all the laughter that embraced our family over the years.
I gave up almost a year of my life and work for Dad’s recovery, and looking back, I wouldn’t change a thing. I had the time of my life enjoying the simple moments we shared, and found that beauty is wherever you let it grow.
Have a beautiful day…..
Stay Gorgeous Girls