I've become adept at bendy straws. We walk across the hall, fill a little tupperware pitcher with ice chips and water, grab a clean styrofoam cup, lid and straw, and bring it back to his room. He can't pour the water from the pitcher himself - not yet, anyway - so we do it for him. Get the lid on. Straighten the bendy straw. He drinks it down, takes his meds, breathes into a little plastic contraption, sits in a recliner reading the day's news, takes his own walk down the hall.
This is pretty good. In fact, this is really good, for being five days post-op. Five days past open heart surgery. My dad received a new valve - bovine! - and a new, clean artery. He's got a crazy long incision down the centre of his chest. I think it's the living worst, but the nurses say it's perfect. He's got a 5 o'clock shadow from Tuesday. Yellow socks with grippers. A "heart-hugger" I lovingly refer to as lederhosen.
And hopefully, he'll come home today...
Ireland, it turns out, is not so far away when you have a husband who tells you to go, and a family who helps get you here, receives you and loans you a car. The Lenten silence has been leading to this, and on Easter Monday I'll go back to my little family.
I'm so grateful for this Holy Week, for the cross above the door, for the Book of Common Prayer by his bedside, though it took me embarrassingly too long to find the Maundy Thursday reading.
I'm grateful for the silence and for the surgeon and for the chance to hold his hand and cry just a little bit into his scratchy beard. For my sisters who make me laugh in waiting rooms. For my son who sends me texts. For the sick kid who snores on my husband, filling the other side of the bed. For the girl who rolls to the middle. For spring thunderstorms in the midwest.
And for the Writer of our redemption stories, the Author of resurrection.