I’ve been sitting on this essay for over a year, afraid to submit it to an editor for publication. I could not bring myself to risk the pain of rejection on this one – the words are my heart. I’m usually good at keeping my confidence in the face of rejection from editors, but this essay was different. If this essay got rejected, it would have been personal.
I am grateful to have found a site where my words feel safe. Thank you, Her View From Home for taking care of my words and my heart.
Some of you may know that my dad is very sick. On October 6 he suffered a significant stroke due to an infection in his heart. Particles from the infection broke off and traveled into his brain, causing strokes in two different areas of his brain.
After a month in the ICU, a tracheostomy, a feeding tube, and a month in rehab, he was able to come home. However, the road has been difficult. He requires 100% care and is unable to do any daily living activities on his own. He has his Guardian Angel, Mary, his partner, who has been there to care for him and love him.
Unfortunately, on December 16, dad was rushed to the hospital again via ambulance where they discovered that his aortic valve had separated from the walls of his heart. This is not good! He had emergency surgery to repair the valve and the weakened walls of his heart on December 19. The ten-hour surgery went well , which is a miracle since the surgery was higher risk than a heart transplant!
Dad is recovering from the surgery in the hospital and will transfer to a different stroke rehab facility hopefully by next week. We’re hoping that this rehab facility will help him gain some of his independence back.
With my dad in the hospital and recovering from his strokes and heart surgery, I thought if I put this essay out there now, the Universe might decide to give my dad another Guardian Angel.
So, Mom…if you’re listening, you’ve done it before with Jax, now it’s dad’s turn.
She Never Let Go: A Guardian Angel Story on Her View from Home
“…one Tuesday morning, Jaxson went into renal failure and his heart began to misfire. Oxygen was not getting to his limbs, lungs, or brain. His oxygen level dropped to 42 percent. He needed CPR.
The neonatologist solemnly ushered us into a dingy conference room where he told us our son had a four percent chance of healthy survival. Words like “irreversible brain damage” and “his heart might not last the night” oozed from the doctor’s mouth and settled heavy on my heart.
I slumped next to Jaxson’s incubator and stared out the window of the NICU wondering if my child would ever feel the sun on his skin.
My thoughts drifted to my mom. I was grateful I had two years after she was diagnosed with cancer to remind her how much I loved her, but I wished she could have been with me that day in the NICU. I needed my mom. I needed a hug and to hear her laugh.
When mom was diagnosed, she planned her funeral so we wouldn’t have to. She joked she was going to open Heaven’s Daycare when she chose the image of an angel surrounded by children for her funeral program.
As I thought about my mom, the NICU faded into the background. I didn’t hear the alarms. I didn’t smell the harsh stench of antiseptic and blood. Jaxson and I were wrapped in soft white light, a bubble of peace and comfort, protecting us from the frantic and sterile NICU…”