My dad is in hospital. Let us get that out of the way first. In hospital with a heart condition that has been described as ‘walking time bomb’ awaiting the call to St James for the big one. Triple bypass.
It is a grim irony that today, on the Day of Hearts, I worry about hearts. Damaged ones. Shrinking arteries. Broken ones.
I could talk about my grievances with the leaders of our country and their tenuous grip on reality when it comes to our atrocious health system. I could discuss the ‘hidden public’ as patients like my Dad are now known, that are listed and ignored until they are called. The hope is their life can outlast the list. It is that grim.
I am that afraid.
I could talk about hospital drives. Visiting hours. Depression. Fear. Anxiety. Watching my mother dissolve and stay strong in the same moment. Being the older sibling who is trying to juggle home life, children, full time job and this hospital sub-life that we are now imprisoned to.
I could talk about how I really feel. But let us not open that reservoir of pain.
This morning is Tuesday. Disgustingly selfishly, I can’t stop focusing on my own exhaustion despite watching my dad suffer this daily monotony of hospital living and my mother rotate her whole world to accommodate it, I think of me. Despite a sister flying in and back from Scotland, so much travel and pressure, I think of me. Despite my little girls having to spend a day in crèche, I think of me. Despite a husband working solid days on a busy farm, I think of me. I feel guilty.
On the constant weight watch, I make a decision. Fully loaded fruit scone with Cappuccino in a little cafe I love. Sneaky moments with the blog. Renergise. Forgive myself the calories this time. Make myself better with FOOD. I can handle it all with a happy (yet chubby) tum. So, I do it.
As Robert Burns once extoled, these plans we have ‘gang aft agly’. (Often go assways). This is why I am sitting chewing on something brown and nasty, seedy and burnt, literally NOT my cup of tea. The waiter got confused. I have been given a spelt scone. Spelt Stone more like. Nutty and healthy, I can feel it almost extending stinky, fibrous fingers attempting to massage my aura. No amount of butter and jam is giving this luxury for me. It tastes as smoke damaged as the lost dreams of dead hippies.
I am sorry for insulting the lovers of the health food and please know that I can give it all a fair good whack usually. Just not today. Today I need butter and white flour, sugar and cream.
I can hear a few voices mutter as they read that maybe the spelt might save me from the same fate as my father.
Maybe not. Spelt might spell healthy for my heart but today it ‘spelt’ disaster for my soul.
The spelt is not working any magic right now anyway. That is for sure.
Burns was not joking. Steinbeck had it on the ball. We make plans in life. To travel. To play. To not be in hospital. To eat scones. To do it all- soon. And sometimes it doesn’t happen that way at all.
Sometimes we are made think a different way.
The Day of Hearts. I never thought I would spend it like this. Obsessing over a heart, yes. My own? No. My lover’s? No. ( Though I love you Mr Paper, know that). No. I am over thinking the organ that doesn’t appear on the cards.
Unless it is a medical card.
Praying we can fix it.