|Holi (Indian festival of colors) with my dad|
This Valentine’s Day is extra special for me. Not because I have a significant other who swept me off my feet but because of what’s happened in the past week. Last Wednesday, I woke up, did my chores and what not and then said bye to dad and went to get my nails done. I had just gotten to the salon when my dad called me – nothing out of the ordinary. You see, my dad has a habit of calling excessively for every little thing, because he doesn’t wanna forget. Per usual, I grunted a little and picked up and said “Now what dad?” He said “Where are you? Come home right now!”, and I said “Why? What happened?”. He said “I’m having chest pain and shortness of breath.”
I’m not quite able to put into words what I went through once those words fell on my ears. I just remember thinking “It’s not what it sounds like. It can’t be!”. I dashed out of the salon and called 911 – the longest call, EVER! It rang 3 times before they picked up, and then all these Goddamn questions, and then transferring me to the local police department. It took ever ounce of self control in my being to not curse them out. I mean, who the eff cares about my dad’s medical history, or his age, or anything else. I just needed someone to get to the house and help him! But I knew I had to stay calm. And so, I did. I answered all their damn questions, twice. My drive home – from 10 minutes away – was also the longest drive, EVER! Of course, every signal turned red and everyone wanted to drive slower than the speed limit. Again, I knew I had to stay calm. And so, I did. All the way home, I was still convinced it wasn’t what it sounded like. I mean, my dad is super healthy! He has no medical history, he does yoga, he eats healthy, he works out. But yes, he stresses a lot. A LOT. The American dream, I suppose.
Anyways, after what seemed like an eternity, I finally got home. The ambulance still hadn’t arrived but the cops had. I saw my dad laying on the couch, sweating, unable to speak. I’m pretty sure I hadn’t quite processed what was going on. The ambulance arrived and the usual procedure followed. My dad was taken to the hospital. By the way, my mom or brother still had no idea what was going on. They weren’t home. So, I was the only one with my dad and I thank God I was there.
Well, after several tests and some more tests, we were finally told my dad had had a heart attack. “No freakin’ way!”, I thought. How could someone as healthy as him have a heart attack? But, it happened. Sometimes, shit happens. Shit you don’t expect. That’s life. He was in the hospital for five days. Five, long, excruciating, stressful days. Seeing a loved one, in a hospital bed is NEVER a good experience. But I think about what could have happened and I am SO thankful and blessed that he’s with us today. He’s making incredible progress and he’ll be back to his usual self soon.
Yes, last Wednesday started just like any other day but it ended as a day that changed everything. Yes, we love our parents – it’s a fact. But we don’t always cherish them like we should – also a fact. I guess what I’m trying to say is, don’t wait till something happens to reevaluate your priorities. And don’t wait till Valentine’s Day to tell the ones you love, you love them.
So today, I’m celebrating my #1 Valentine – my father!
Happy Valentine’s Day to you and yours!