Flatline: Life lessons from my father’s Heart attack
” No one can confidently say that he will still be living tomorrow”
I had just dropped off my daughter at school when my phone rang.
It was my sister. ” Daddy is having chest pains so I called the paramedics.”
Ironically, I was at the stop light that would take me to my parents’s apartment. When I got inside, I saw my father sweating profusely. But it was the look on his face which made me know this was no ordinary chest pain.
After all he had two previous heart attacks!
My first instinct was to pray. So I prayed.
Daddy told me he felt better and started to praise God.
” I am not afraid to die,” I remembered him saying.
But in my mind I was saying, ” Please don’t die today, not here, not now.”
The paramedics interrupted my thoughts.
After asking daddy a few questions, they suggested that he went with them to the hospital. Where he got the strength to walk out of the house and into the ambulance on his own I don’t know.
Well I do know….it was God!
My father was told he had 3 arteries blocked in his heart and that he need to have surgery done right away.
I almost passed out!
But I had to be strong.
They told us the surgery would take 6 hours. 6 hours came and went.
My sister and I camped outside the OR and waited.
We began to panic however when the 9th hour came and we did not hear from the doctor.
A hour later I got a call, telling me they found another blockage.
I couldn’t hold it back anymore. I just started to cry uncontrollably.
My father was in surgery for over 12 hours! My sister and I were sitting on the floor outside the OR when the door opened. We saw them wheeling my father out and took him to the recovery room.
The sight of my father made my little sister do the ugly cry.
His body was lifeless. Blood was all over the sheets. Tubes were down his throat, and someone was on top on him doing something with his chest!
I sneaked into the recovery room.
I heard the nurse telling the other nurse, ” I can’t get a pulse.”
They might have heard me gasping, because it was then that they asked me to leave the room.
I had so much things going on in my life at that time, but I tell you the truth,nothing mattered that day in that moment.
When they finally allowed my sister and I to enter the room, I didn’t see my father. All I saw was a lifeless body. I couldn’t tell if he would hear me or not. The only reason I knew he was not dead was because no one came and told me that was the case.
“Daddy,daddy, can you hear me? It’s me, Natalie.”
Not a squeeze.
Not a blink.
The room was cold, and so was his body. The picture tells the story.
My father was in the hospital for over a week. He had to use a hug bear to press against his chest whenever he wanted to cough or laugh so that the stitches wouldn’t pop.
When the day came for me to take him home, I had to drive 20 miles per hour, and that was still too fast.
The stairs my father use to run up and down on to get inside his apartment, was now a steep mountain. Ever two steps, he had to rest. It took us 20 minutes to get up 15 flight of stairs!
It has been a little over four years since his surgery.
I am convinced God have something for my Daddy to do here still, because 3 major heart attacks didn’t take him out!
But what about me, and you. Would we be so lucky?
In 2011 alone, I heard of so many people who died suddenly. Most of them young. If they had an opportunity to come back for a day, I wonder what they would tell us?
We spend a lot of time focusing on the wrong things and chasing other people’s dreams. We fuss and argue over petty things that will mean absolutely nothing to us in six months. We worry about bills, but yet still most of us are still spending more than we can afford to keep up our images. We live to work. We are living a lie.
I don’t believe when God created man, this was His plan for us. There has to be something more. The question is, are we interested in discovering what that something more is. Or, have we just resigned ourself to living a mediocre existence until we die?
It’s time my friends for us to awaken to consciousness!
I don’t know how much longer I or my father will be here. I just pray that our latter days together, will be better than the past. I pray my true purpose would have been fulfilled and I die empty.
Who haven’t you spoken to in awhile. Who do you need to tell I am sorry to. Who do you need to appreciate some more. Who do you need to tell I LOVE YOU?
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Daddy I love you! I want to hear you tell the same old stories over again that you think are funny over dinner