Thursday, November 18, 2010

A 'double yolker' and the mile long road...


Last night, on my way home from work, I stopped at the neighbor lady and bought eggs. I was so excited, she hasn't had them since I've been back to Snohomish. When I pulled into the garage I grabbed my things, came into the house and started dinner. In honor of the fresh eggs, I decided to have some leftover chicken and an egg sandwich.

One of the eggs looked cracked, so I decided to use that one. When I broke it into the iron skillet, it was a *double yolker*!!! Instantly, I was 10 years old again. Sitting in the old blue truck with the pink carpet driving to god knows where with my dad to get eggs. I spent every Saturday dad would let me tag along with him traipsing around central Ohio. It was from going out into the boondocks and getting eggs, that I learned blue eggs, brown eggs, speckled eggs and white eggs were all wonderful. I had forgotten about double yolkers until today.

I found my eyes tearing up in the kitchen staring at the eggs. Thinking about how close I came to losing dad. A heart attack at 83? Triple bypass? I didn't really understand what those words meant until last week. I didn't understand what it meant to feel helpless in a situation where I clearly had no control. It wasn't until my marriage that I understood what anxiety attacks felt like, and it wasn't until last week that I remembered how powerful they are. For me? Anxiety attacks come when I feel trapped, or when I feel like no matter what I do, I can't stop what is happening.

Seeing my dad in pain wasn't easy. Being the 'manager' the one 'in control' all the time, makes it even more difficult because I was confronted with the 'I can't do anything to fix this' and didn't know how to manage all the emotions running around in my head and my heart. We were fortunate that we had amazing doctors and nurses that were kind, caring and compassionate. They talked us through things, allowed us to stay with dad well past any 'scheduled' visiting hours and called or talked to us several times a day. I was incredibly impressed with the people I came in contact with at the hospital and in the skilled nursing facility. It helped lower my stress and I know it helped lower my dad's.

This morning, I sit here, eating breakfast, thinking about my dad as my cat sits next to me and the fire burns in the fireplace. It's quiet. It's peaceful. I leave again next Tuesday for two weeks to make sure he is adjusting to being home and out of the daily skilled nursing care. I'm looking forward to Thanksgiving with my dad and my sister. It likely won't be as quiet and peaceful, but that's okay. I'm hoping to reconnect with family this trip. Because family? At least to me? Is essential.

Thanksgiving is going to look different this year, but maybe more powerful because I realize how much I have to be thankful for. I'm going to make every effort to have a 'healthy' meal this year with my family. There is one reason and one reason only that my dad is still alive. He is alive because before his heart attack he was watching his diet closely and he was walking a mile down the road every day. My dad took good care of his body and his body is responding by healing quickly and not quitting. If *I* had a triple bypass today? I am pretty sure I wouldn't be so lucky. I know things have to change in my life. I don't have to be 'thin' but it is time to move. I've been stuck for a while feeling sorry for myself and sad about certain things in my life that it is time to let go and move on from. In my life, it is time to *act* and not *think* about being healthy anymore. Maybe that is part of where my anxiety attacks are coming from. A need to get 'moving' and get 'out' of my head a bit.

I'm not grateful for my dad's heart attack. I liked the world before he got sick. When I didn't have to look at how fragile life is, how quickly and easily it can end. And? What it takes to be healthy to hold on and grow old. At my current weight, I won't grow old. Or if I do? I won't grow old healthy. No one is going to change that reality but me.