Many people are remember that my father went through some really tough times in 2001. He was in the Intensive Care Unit at the Portsmouth Naval Hospital from February through August of that year. It was a very rough time for the entire family but we all had faith that he would pull through, even after he had technically died a few times during his stay. When he came home it was such an amazing event – none of the hospital staff thought that he would live through his ordeal. But there he was – frail, skinny, coughing. Alive. I have no idea how he was able to make it through his stay. I mean the man had sepsis, a few heart attacks on the operating table and numerous other issues (most of his major organs had failed him) but lo and behold, he still made it home.
Earlier this year – late January – my parents and my eldest sister took a trip to the Philippines. They were looking forward to it. My Mom was still getting used to being retired, my dad was still happy to be going out and about and my eldest sister was doing what eldest sisters do: taking care of the preparations for my parents. I didn’t get a chance to see my parents the last weekend that they were here in Northern Virginia. In total, 11 people from my family went – my parents, sister, grandmother and uncles, aunts and cousins. At some point during their stay four of them got very sick. I’m still not sure from what, but it was serious enough that my grandmother and my father were two of the four. Everyone else came back home. Everyone except my parents and my sister.
Whatever strange sickness inflicted upon my fragile father had caused him to be hospitalized. The reason that they’re still there is that the doctors didn’t feel that he was able to safely make the trip back home. It is my understanding that over the past few weeks he’s had an angioplasty. And now he’s slated to have bypass surgery because they feel that he may not be able to make the plane ride back without it. My sister and my mother have been staying with him as he’s been in the hospital for what is now almost a month. The trauma of my mother having to go through seeing my dad in the hospital again must be immense. What should have been a 2 week trip has turned into a nightmare for my family. My sister, who just bought a new house, has taken leave from work to be there for my parents. She’s doing all that she can. It is almost like we’re living through this ordeal again but this time fate has it that those of us who care so deeply for them can’t immediately see or talk to them.
Face it, this isn’t cheap, either. They brought enough money to last them their original trip. Since then they’ve had to dip into savings, retirement funds, and credit cards to the tune of what is estimated to be over $40k. My other sister and her family as well as Angela and I are preparing to give them as much as we can afford. And to be honest, all of that would be worth it just to bring all three of them home. Sure, there is ‘family’ there, but everyone that they are close to are here. Everyone that went to visit my dad at the hospital the first time is here. Comfort, familiarity, family is here.
Home is here.
I feel so helpless right now. I honestly don’t know what else we can do over here. It scares me. Please, God, please let them all come home.