Nobody likes visiting the doctor, no matter how nice they are or sitting waiting to be seen. My son Doug and I have had our full share of illness, doctors and hospitals this last year. Make no mistake, we’re both very, very thankful for the help we’ve received.
Due to all of this, I looked heavenward and said, “enough, already.” Faith was important in my family. My daddy’s problem with alcohol was balanced by his love of Jesus Christ. Daddy often called him “the good man upstairs.” I remembered that yesterday when I was with a heart specialist contemplating just what she had told Doug and me. Not one, not two, but three of my heart valves don’t do their job right.
Surgery is out of the question, she explained. It would be taking one terrible chance to operate on a woman 91 years old with this serious a problem. I had to agree.
In all of the checking and double-checking my meds, we found that I’d not been taking a very needed medicine. Wow, I thought, and was glad we found the error as quickly as we did.
The doctors in Reno had prescribed a dozen or more meds and it was just taking time for my doctor and the specialist to straighten the whole thing out. Last night, at sunset, I sat up in my bed watching something on television. At that moment I don’t think I knew what show as on, I was going to have a talk with “the good man” and see just where I stood.
I asked God, “Why keep me around when really nice friends of ours have passed away who were so much younger?” I know we’re not supposed to question, but I had to ask. Well, I said, “if you are keeping me around, give me something to do.” I know he smiled. I recalled that at the doctors office Doug explained to her how much I had done for him last year when he almost died.
Doug said he knew that taking care of him took years off my life. I almost cried. I didn’t have any idea he thought that way since Doug isn’t outwardly emotional. Maybe it’s true; there I was 90 years old, driving a car around with a sick son and taking care of him in a sick bed at home with neither of us getting even a little sleep. It was a terrible time.
Remembering those terrible days I had to smile. God had answered the prayers a lot of people had been sending heavenward then, and there I was asking questions.
Just then, Doug surprised me when he walked into my bedroom, carrying some mail. We had forgotten to pick it up earlier, and included were – besides the very present bills and “stuff” – were two envelopes. One was a card from my granddaughter Leslie.
She and her sister Sarah, and all of their kids, six of my 10 great-grandbabies, signed it. It was a beautiful get-well card and I just had to shed a tear or two.
The other was a thank you from one of our local charities for my donation of one of my crewel designs. Doug had paid for the framing, and it was really a gift from him.
It feels like I spend half of my life sitting on our living room couch doing my crewel designs. I love every minute of it. Yesterday, while doing this and I don’t know why, I could suddenly see my daddy’s face looking down at me. My dad, Ambrose Hoffman had, if nothing else, a wonderful sense of humor. “Are you listening to the good man?” he was saying.
God was telling me to get off that feeling sorry for myself and to remember to be thankful for all of the good things in my life. So what if this old body is falling apart! The old brain’s just fine, or at least my doctor thinks so. As long as I can do my crewel designs; hoping they sell at the Rising Sun Gallery, I’ll continue helping organizations here in town.
I told “the good man” that I understand what he’s trying to tell me through my daddy He’s trying to tell this hardheaded old lady that she still has a purpose, even if it’s a very small one in this silly world of ours. I shut my eyes, just about then, and got some much needed sleep.
Edna Van Leuven is a Churchill County writer and columnist. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org