I thought only old people died. My great grandpa passed away last year, and I do not recall anyone younger dying or having the possibility of dying. Not knowing whether my dad was going to live or die for a little over two weeks made me come to a realization that death is not strange. It is a fact of life.It doesn't matter if the person is young or old. Death is something that can happen at any moment.
Day after day, the phone rings. With each sharp sound, my fear intensifies, and I feel like I'm dreading the noise it brings. But after a few days, I realize it's not the phone ringing that frightens me-it's the news I receive once I answer it. My confusion is settled, and now I am overtaken by this overwhelming fear of never seeing my dad again and missing my mom. The longer he spends in ICU with the nurses not giving my mom any answers make my heart pound. How can they not know if he is going to make it or not?
Two weeks have gone by, and I finally see my mom. I run to her as fast as I can, and I don't want to let her go. "Can I see daddy? Has he woken up yet?"
I can see hesitation on my mom's face as she is not sure what to say. Then she quickly turns in the opposite direction of me and walks towards the nurses' station. Did I say something wrong?
My mom is fighting with the nurses, and she is being very stern with them.I am unsure what exactly she is saying, but I am worried.
The nurse walks over to me and then looks at my mom and says, "She cannot be in there long; she technically shouldn't go in there, but I understand you want her to see her dad just in case he takes a turn for the worse. Y'all have five minutes."
As we walk towards the ICU area where my dad is, my mom looks at me and says, "Now, Andrea, try not to look around too much in here okay? There are a lot of hurt people in here, but you are going to see your daddy."
I listen to my mom and focus straight ahead. My dad is in this room with several other beds with patients in them. I try my hardest not to look at the other patients, but it is very hard. He is in the second bed from the door, and he has an IV in his arm. I see his chest moving up and down as he breathes easily from what I can tell. He also has a brace wrapped around his neck. I slowly walk up to him, afraid if I move too quickly I will hurt him.
"It's okay, Andrea. He can hear you and squeeze your hand. Go up to him and ask him to squeeze your hand if he hears you."
"Daddy, I love you. Please don't die." I tell him as tears quickly fall down my face. I'm afraid to ask him to squeeze my hand because what if he squeezes me too hard? I stand there looking at my dad and hope he opens his eyes.
When we walk back into the waiting room, I see Cody sitting up against the white wall crying. "What's wrong?"
"It's not fair. It is just not fair," he explains, "you get to see Andy and I can't. It isn't fair." His hands are covering his face as he tries to hide his tears.
"Cody!" I scream through my tears, "he is my dad, and he may not make it. If it were your dad in there instead of mine, I wouldn't be able to see him. It might not be fair, but it's the rules." I walk over to the green chair my mom is sitting in and hug her. I try to hold onto her as tightly as possible. I want my dad to wake up, and I want to stay with my mom, but David and Dana are ready to go back home, so I have to go with them.
I am so upset, I don't speak really, especially not to Cody who could care less that I may never see my dad again. He should be happy his parents are both alive and well, and he can be with them. I wouldn't want him in my shoes anyway. In the Suburban, I stay quiet as I want them to turn the vehicle around and just leave me with my mom. I know why I have to stay with them, but still.
We stop at a gas station on the way home and Cody comes up to me and offers me a bag of chips. "Hey, I am sorry about earlier, but I was really hurt that you got to see your dad and I couldn't."
"It's okay. I know you just wanted to see my dad. Maybe next time we go, you can." I say, trying to make peace between us. He still shouldn't have yelled at me. "I'm sorry too."