This was originally intended to be a concerned open letter to my dad, an attempt to convince him to see a doctor after a few weeks of feeling poorly and suffering from weight loss, lack of hunger, weakness, and pain. (Disclosure: I'm not noted for visiting doctors' offices, either. In fact, the last time I was in a doctor's office in something other than a professional capacity, George Bush was in office. No, not Dubya; George H. W. Bush, back in 1991. But I'd seek medical attention if I felt that bad for that long.) I saw him and my mom for his 67th birthday this past Sunday, and while he didn't look bad, he certainly didn't look as healthy or strong or vivacious as I'm used to him being.
Then, this morning, I determined that this post would have a more relieved tone, when my dad E-mailed me to tell me that he and my mom had found a doctor yesterday, and they'd run some tests on him and gave him some medication, and there were more tests scheduled... and more importantly, he was feeling better than he had over the past few days.
I was therefore shaken to the core when, just a few hours later, my sister E-mailed me with the news that my dad was going to be hospitalized, and that he was suffering from anemia and possible kidney failure. I did speak with my mom and my dad early this evening, as she was getting ready to leave the hospital, and they both sounded OK, but I'm worried. I suppose it's a little too soon for that, and I should wait until we have some more information, hopefully tomorrow, before attempting to make some sense of all this...
I moved out of my parents' house when I was 21 (just a few months after that last doctor's visit, coincidentally), not in a fit of rage or rebellion but because I just felt it was time to live my life my way. I've never looked back, but I didn't need to; they were never behind me, but instead always at my sides. My mom and dad have always done everything they could, and then some, for their children, and I honor and respect and appreciate and love them for it. Maybe it's selfish and irrational, but I want them to be around for another twenty or thirty years. I hope they are. We still have more to share.