This 4th of July weekend will be one I won't soon forget, but not for the reasons I would have hoped. While I was working Friday night, my phone rang at 1 am. When I saw my sister Bethany on the caller ID, I actually wasn't worried. She knew I was working and having worked the night shift herself in the past, I thought maybe she was up late and calling to say a quick hello. I didn't realize at first that it was 3am eastern time and much too late for any type of fun phone call. She asked me if I had gotten the text message from my mom (which I hadn't) and that's when my delight at her call was replaced with a sense that something was very wrong. I felt an awful sense of dread when she told me that dad was in the hospital; he had had a heart attack. It was so hard to believe. My dad is only 56, still young in my mind, very healthy and active. He doesn't have any of the typical risk factors, but sure enough, that scary diagnosis was true. I felt so helpess, being thousands of miles and two time zones away, but so thankful for my sweet sister Bethany being with my parents. I truly believe she saved my dad's life. She is only one semester away from graduating from nursing school and even though my dad wasn't having all the typical symptoms, she believed something was seriously wrong and urged him to go to the ER. He wasn't having severe chest pain, just fatigue, chills, shortness of breath and pain in his back. He was transferred from our small town community hospital to a larger hospital in Lexington and placed on the schedule for a heart catheterization on Saturday. The doctors were able to open the 95% blockage in one of his coronary arteries and place a stent. I am so thankful God protected him from having a worse outcome and hopefully he will soon feel even better than he did before now that his blockage is cleared.
So how could I possibly feel disappointed? Well, for seven months we have been planning for my parents to come visit us in Colorado for the first time this week. They were supposed to fly in tonight and we had reserved two nights in Estes Park so we could explore Rocky Mountain National Park together. I have been so excited and planning the trip down to the smallest detail for weeks. I had grocery shopped, written my menus, cooked a few meals, prepared special presents, started packing, picked some fun activities in the Springs, and researched hiking trails in the Park. My house was looking better than ever, from newly painted and decorated rooms inside to flowers, and freshly-stained porch swing and railing all ready for relaxing evenings outdoors. I was looking forward to showing our new home and city to my dad for the first time and hoping to share in both of their delight at the beauty of God's creation in our state. Although I had just traveled to Kentucky with Caroline a few weekends ago, my dad hadn't seen Rylan in almost a year. He has changed so much since then, and I knew how much my parents would enjoy spending time with him. I think deep down I was even hoping for my parent's approval of our new life here. Even though they always wish we lived closer, I was hoping their longing would be eased when they could see us living the lives God has called us to, doing the work we love, and surrounded by His incredible creation. I was hoping it would capture their hearts just a little bit, like it captured mine.
Then the events of this weekend happened, the trip was cancelled, and I felt like I fell off a train moving at 90 mph. More than just a visit with family was lost. Deep down, I know God planned everything for a reason and there could be surprising blessings that come from this experience. We are hoping my parents may be able to come for a week in October instead.
Presently, though, everywhere I look, I am reminded that our long-anticipated visit won't be happening and my heart hurts. Thanks for letting me share my sadness so honestly and put those emotions into words.