This past week was a very emotional one for me.
My father and I had a plan for me to fly out to Virginia on Wednesday, hop in his car, and enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime road trip to Missouri to move him into our home here in Vandalia.
I bought a one-way ticket and had no need for a return flight.
This all changed less than a week away from our big journey when my step-brother called me on the phone telling me my father had been rushed to the hospital after passing out.
It was challenging to stay in touch from a long distance while trying to take care of work and family responsibilities nearly 1,000 miles away.
As test after test was run to find out what happened, I couldn’t help but feel awful for him. He was less than a week from making this big move to be closer to his grandchildren. (I’d say to be closer to me but I know better…)
He now found himself sitting in a hospital full of strangers and just hoping to find answers.
Though it felt like an episode of the TV show “House,” a diagnosis eventually showed his battle with pneumonia, medicines getting off from last year’s battle with his blood clots in his lungs, and possibly a blockage to his heart.
Though I had other plans for spending time with him last week, it was a blessing to be with him in the hospital and spend hours just visiting, assisting with his care, and even enjoying a Baltimore Orioles game together.
It was awesome to watch a game together where they actually picked up the win. They haven’t had many wins this season so that was a real treat.
As his health began to slowly improve, we both enjoyed meeting the melting pot of people who live in the Fairfax, Va. area.
At one time, we added up that he met people from seven different countries who played a role in his care in the hospital alone. This doesn’t count another four to five countries represented in his rehabilitation center.
Then there was the unique Missouri connection.
While in the hospital, his main doctor was from Kansas City along with a cardiologist and case worker, who both lived one time in Chesterfield.
I told him these Missouri people are going to take care of him and get him to Missouri.
While in Virginia, I was able to get some important things done for my father that he wanted off his to-do list like getting his car fixed, working on bank information, moving him into the rehabilitation center, and so on. It was an extremely busy time for me as the week ended with not enough quality time for the both of us.
Some of you can relate to my experience in moving a parent into a healthcare facility. I had to fight an entire day to get his medications situated and ensure a proper schedule for him in receiving his meds.
It was exhausting and I’m not the kind of person who looks for a fight. But I had no choice but to shake whatever cage I could to ensure his medicine was given to him as scheduled.
This led to a lot of frustration, sweat from walking all over the building between administrators and nurses, and exhaustion.
But when I left, my hope was he was in good hands. So far, so good.
My week ended with the only way it should.
So I booked by return flight at the last second from a website cheapOair.com.
I searched for a flight from Dulles to St. Louis and wanted the cheapest rate possible.
I found one for about $100 cheaper than any other options and there were only two tickets left.
I booked it for an early 7 a.m. flight connecting first all two timezones away to Denver before flying back to St. Louis on Frontier Airlines.
So my step-brother dropped me off at 4:15 a.m. I waited briefly for a kiosk, plugged in my confirmation number, and an error showed.
So I got in line to talk to a customer service agent. I showed her my paper and she said “you are at the wrong airport.”
If only a camera could have recorded my face at that moment.
She said your airport code says “DLA.” That’s not Dulles, that’s for Reagan International Airport.
Though it is only :35 minutes away, traffic typically makes the commute last an hour or longer. I went outside praying and asking God what I should do while walking down the sidewalk away from the entrance.
I could call my step-brother but I would have to wait for him to turn around then I would need him to drive me to Reagan and throw his entire day off. Of course, I’m not guaranteed to get through the TSA checkpoint and onto my flight in time.
So I called the cab service I had from when I arrived at Dulles on Wednesday but it hit their answering machine service.
I saw very few cabs where I was standing. Most were three lanes over and filled up with passengers.
While on the phone with another cab service who said it would be a while before they could even get to me, a cab pulled up right in front of me to unload a passenger.
I made my way over to the driver who was a little far from Alexandria, the home of his cab service, and I asked him if he would be willing to take me to Reagan.
He said sure.
As soon as I got in the back seat of his cab, my Bible App displayed the verse of the day on my cell phone. It was Hebrews 4:16. “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”
So I got teary eyed and was reminded God is in control of it all.
He takes care of us and I’m thankful for the opportunity to serve him.
I don’t know what the future holds for my dad as he goes through rehab. Will he be living in a Vandalia apartment on his own or will he be moving in with my family?
I don’t know but I do believe in the one who has all of the answers and I’m thankful for how He reminds me to just trust in Him a little more during these times.