amidst the battle
i slowly slip through the bustle of people making their way to the line. i dislike lines. i dislike standing inches away from strangers… yet here i am. i can hear them breathing and i don’t even know their name.
we awkwardly shuffle forward, like toddlers trying to stand still. it’s nauseating the amount of human bodies in this small space. all the different smells and sounds. i start to feel queasy.
i’ve only ever been on an airplane a handful of times in my life. and i don’t hate the actual air transit. in fact, i find it kind of thrilling. ok, maybe bearable is a better word. but every other time i’ve been en route via the sky, it’s been for something really exciting.
first, it was a missions trip to the Dominican Republic. then Arizona and Seattle. and ever since i moved to Montana, there have been a few flights back to California for various occasions.
but this trip is different. this trip is not one i’m looking forward to.
i see my dad’s face like a light at the end of the tunnel. i kiss his scruffy face and feel a sense of relief. home. if home could ever be inside of a hospital.
he immediately asks about my “boys”. i giggle through teary eyes and tell him they’re doing great. amidst feeding tubes and struggling to breathe, he still manages to care only about me in that moment. i feel both broken and safe at the same time.
seeing someone you love struggle is an out of body experience that’s difficult to explain. i want to save him but i also know that he can do this. he has to do this. on his own.
i imagine what my mom must feel. her husband fighting for his life. nothing to do but be there. nothing to give but herself. if the weight feels this heavy on my shoulders, it must be a mountain on hers.
if there’s anything i know, it’s that their love can withstand this.
it’s been two weeks since i returned home from that trip. my dad is still in the hospital, but everyday there is progress. the road is going to be long for us all, but it’s going to be even longer for him. the daily battle. the hourly check-ups. the minutes spent in a quiet hospital room. it’s not going to be easy, but we all believe. because we know there is a greater hand at work in this.
and my dad is a warrior.