Mar 2019 31

The Plan

Posted In Blog,The world

‘Among the bats in the dark, there are also birds.’

“Well,” I said to my dad. “Just don’t die overnight.”

“I’ll do my best,” he said as he looked positively relaxed on the bench of his new fold-out walker.

He’s going home tomorrow morning. After 45 days in hospitals, and once again cheating death. That’s three times now, if you’re counting. The 90 year old who got pneumonia, and was on death’s door, is going home. And two weeks earlier than doctors expected.

If he doesn’t die overnight and wakes up tomorrow, that is.

“Don’t jinx it!” my sister said.

“If you die tonight,” I mused. “You know how pissed we’d all be? You know how much healthcare tax money is invested in you, not to mention my time the last 45 days? Fuck, dad. That would suck.”

We all laughed. It was our first family laugh in a long time.

I don’t want this feeling to pass without writing about it tonight. Tomorrow will be too late. The feeling will have passed. The last 45 days have certainly been the most trying of my adult life. I learned a lot. I want to remember.

My father almost dying was central to it, yes. But around it a swirl of life problems decided to roll in from the ocean in all directions at the same time. Dark and churning.

It’s like the Universe decided to peel back one chaotic layer after another. Deep starless abysses opened all around me. Although I am prone to exaggeration and melodrama, it really was all sides bad, all at once.

And there were only two things that kept me from falling in.

First of all, the Universe has a sense of humour. It threw me little miracles throughout the journey. I’ve written about a lot of them the last while. They came from the most unexpected places. They’ve made me wonder if there truly is a plan, whatever happens. Not an ‘everything will end happily’, but rather a feeling like ‘it’s all bigger than you and you have no control, Andrew [bwahahahahahaaaaa]’.

So enjoy the ride. Among the bats in the dark, there are also birds.

And the second thing that kept me going? Writing. Staying sober to write almost every day. And you reading it.

Thank you for reading. I write cause I hope you’ll read.

The elevator arrived and we left the 90 year old man too stubborn die, even though he’s not sure what he’s still here for. I’ll pick him up tomorrow.

“That’d be terrible if he died tonight,” my sister said in the elevator.

“Nah,” I said. “That’d be wonderful in a way. All he’s talked about the last 45 days is going home. It’s like Christmas Eve for him tonight. If he died, he’d go having a sense of anticipation and thinking everything is going to be amazing when he wakes up. What a great state to live in forever, if you believe in that thing.”

“I guess,” she said. “But I’d rather he died tomorrow night.”

Chances are, he won’t die tonight.

Tomorrow he’s going to get up and get another chance at life.

I’ll do it too.

The Universe knows what it’s doing. Yah, the plan is fucked up, harrowing, has twists and turns, and the Universe is a sick masochist and the man in the bed next to my dad is unconscious has a suction tube in his throat and it makes noises like he had Taco Bell for lunch and it’s being sucked out of his intestines the way it came in and he may not live and I’m not sure he would want to in that state, and so, plan? Right. Fuck off, Andrew.

I guess I’ll just say it’s strange. The Universe is strange.

On Sunday, February 10th, I wrote a post about waking up with the feeling that I should call my dad. Turns out, that’s the day he started to feel the early effects of pneumonia as the day went on. By the 14th, I had to rush him to the hospital. What I didn’t write about was what specifically woke me up…

In my sleep, I heard him call out my name, “Andrew!!!!” in need. And it woke me up, scared.

It’s just strange. Even if he died, it’s just strange.

And I’ve got some thinking to do.

Tomorrow.