Two weeks ago today, shortly after I published my last post, my dad fell 20 feet from a tree stand he was taking down, rolled down a ravine, and came to rest against a tree at the bottom of the steep grade.
It took emergency crews from several townships an hour and a half to extract my dad from the ravine; he was then airlifted to the nearest trauma center.
My dad suffered a dislocated shoulder, two fractures in his pelvis, and some scrapes and bruises. It is amazing his initial injuries weren’t worse.
He was released from the hospital to my parents’ home that Friday afternoon.
A little more than 24 hours later, my mom called an ambulance to take my dad to the emergency room. He had a fever and was disoriented.
We found out that he had pneumonia, sepsis (an infection in the blood), extremely low oxygen levels and an extremely high heart rate. For the next 3-4 days we sat and watched my dad get sicker as the doctors worked to find the source of the blood infection and keep his oxygen and heart steady.
At some point during those several days I came face-to-face with the reality that my dad might die from this accident.
Don’t get me wrong—I know that my parents will die. But knowing that abstractly and actually facing the truth of it are two very different things.
By Wednesday, all of my dad’s vitals were in the normal range, the doctors were confident that they had found the source(s) of the infection and that the antibiotics they had been pumping into him were working.
They began to plan for his transfer to the rehabilitation unit of the hospital where he is currently, working on walking again and regaining strength.
I have so much gratitude for my dad’s friend who was with him at the time of his fall, for the support and prayers from my parents’ church community, for the love and support from my own community, and for the medical staff who took excellent care of my dad.
Although I’ve had difficult and challenging things and events in my life, I’ve been blessed that major injury and the deaths of those I love have been few and far between.
I’m still trying to make my own meaning about the past two weeks of my life and understand how they will change and shape me moving forward.
However, the one thing that is clearer to me after all of this is this: we need to love each other well.
There’s just no reason not to.
In the end it doesn’t matter if someone is different from you.
In the end fear doesn’t matter.
It’s all just noise.
And when everything gets really quiet and the world both narrows and expands at the same time: love.
I’d love to hear from you: has there been a moment or event in your life that put things into perspective? Let me know in the comments section below.
In my next post we’ll be back on track talking about language related to trans identities. Promise.
I look forward to seeing you then.