I continue to contemplate relationships this morning. Relationships among family, friends, acquaintances – all of it A-Z.
Then I started to think about The E.R. and Grandpa (My Father-in-Law)
Week of May 29 –
We were finishing breakfast at the hotel when the call came in. Grandpa indicated he was calling 911. He didn’t know what was wrong but he couldn’t breathe. This would have been the 2nd time in just a couple of months he would have called for ambulance assistance. We told him we would drive over and take instead.
We high-tailed ourselves over to his condo as fast as we could and I met him outside his door…25 minutes later. Upon our arrival, he didn’t even wait for me to knock or ring the door bell.
He looked pale and weak. I could tell he struggled walking because of his labored breathing.
That might have been the longest drive to the ER I have witnessed. Now I understand why the ambulance exists.
There is an intersection near where he lives that can get really bottle-necked. Just the right number of cars and the wrong timing of lights (along with driver distractions or less than ideal temperaments) and you have the perfect combination of driving delays. Even if he had been in an ambulance, I’m not sure how the medics would have navigated this particular area of congestion…
At one point, there was a white Mercedes sedan we had just passed in another lane. I heard commotion behind us and looked out the back window. The driver had gotten out of his car and was yelling at a pedestrian, and the pedestrian was yelling back at him. I didn’t see what had transpired but the air was thick with tension. I was glad when the light finally turned green.
We arrived at the ER check in window. I signed Grandpa in. The wait wasn’t too long. I wasn’t sure which of us would accompany him into Triage. As they called him, my husband volunteered me to go…which I would have been fine with but I personally felt it wasn’t my decision to make. I asked Grandpa…”which of us do you want to go with you?” – he indicated his son.
The kids and I sat in the waiting room…fortunately we’d brought things to pass the time. The kids were on the electronics, I continued reading The Book of Mysteries.
After an hour or two, a short examination indicated no sign of a heart attack so he was next in line for a lung x-ray.
Later that day, early afternoon I had the chance to join them in Grandpa’s hospital room. What an experience…
Sitting in there made me realize how “vapor-like” life is. I spent time observing the comings and goings of hospital staff and EMT’s. Thinking about how these medical personnel would deal with a crisis when one actually happened.
The Dr. finally came in to discuss the initial results of Grandpa’s tests. His lung xray showed that he might be developing pneumonia. But the best way to determine how his heart was doing was to conduct a “Stress Test” which would require him to stay there and be monitored for at least a couple of days. Well, in Grandpa’s world…that is not an option and he was gonna have no part of it.
They proceeded to get his papers ready to release him and let him go home for 3 days of rest.
That evening, I just couldn’t hold back on asking him about Jesus.
Last fall, that is last September…he had an experience where one night – after he went to bed, He saw (and spoke with) Jesus in Heaven. The morning after this happened, he couldn’t find the words to even speak at first. Everyone in the family was concerned that maybe he’d had a stroke or something had happened to impair his speech. In reality, he was so stunned he just could not find words to describe the indescribable. My husband took the kids to school…
After they left I looked at Grandpa and paused…and finally said, “Ok Grandpa, talk to me”
He turned his bewildered gaze toward me, and said…”I don’t know how to explain this, but I saw Jesus – I saw God last night.” My eyes widened….”well don’t stop there, keep going!”
His description of what happened the night before were nothing short of just amazing. I think back about that discussion and those couple of hours that we took to talk and relish what he heard and said.
But back to the original story….my concern over the months since that experience were wondering if he still remembered it because his memory was waning. If he remembered that experience…then God wasn’t done with him yet.
“Grandpa, do you remember seeing Jesus last Fall, in a vision, while you were visiting us?”
“I just wanted to know if you could remember or not since you have occasional memory challenges.”
“That experience is not something I could forget because it was real. I was really there with him. It was not a dream. Being there with Him was as real as talking with you here, now.”
“Well, that’s good to hear, cause I know you used to doubt that anything beyond this life existed…”
Grandpa responded almost matter-of-factly, “There is most definitely life after this one…this life is not the end.”