On oak trees, weeping willows, and the fragility of life (FRIDAY UPDATE)

Posted by: ST on November 18, 2010 at 9:13 pm

Friday Update – 10:00 PM: Dad willl be in the hospital til Mon. when biopsy will occur. Got news tonight that was grounds for cautious optimism but we won’t know for sure until biopsy results come in. Thanks again big time for the prayers & well wishes. Y’all are AWESOME. :)


Hey y’all. I rarely make prayer requests here but need to do so tonight. My dear old dad (who I’ve written about him a little here at the blog, usually on Father’s Day – see here, here, here, and here), is going through some health issues related to his diabetes. Specifically, he’s having trouble with one of his kidneys. He was in the hospital today at the insistence of his primary care physician and will hopefully be released tomorrow. There were some tests and scans run on him today to determine the problem. He’ll have to have a biopsy next week to determine whether his condition is manageable with medication or whether more drastic measures have to be taken, like dialysis or even kidney removal. Obviously, we’re praying it can be managed via medication.

Been difficult seeing him in the hospital in his hospital gown in the hospital bed. No one is really fond of hospitals, but I am especially not – haven’t been since I was a teenager having to wait in a hospital as my grandmother slowly died from lung failure that stemmed from some 30 years of smoking. Hospitals smell like, well, hospitals – not only that, but dad has looked so fragile laying there, trying to be brave.

Dad’s always been like an oak tree to me; solid and strong. The last couple of days he’s displayed a vulnerability that is rare for him. As I’ve written before, he’s been dealing with issues related to his diabetes for years, and it – along with decades of working hard labor jobs – have taken their toll on him (he’s in his mid 60s) and it has been hard watching him no longer be able to do some of the things he used to. To his oak tree, I’ve been a bit of a weeping willow for the last few months. I have tried not to think too much about the health issues he’s been battling, something that is easy to do, because you wouldn’t know he’s got the issues he does just by being around him.

I guess I’ve sort of been in denial about his condition, not wanting to acknowledge to myself that dad is indeed mortal and, unlike an oak tree, will not be around forever. When I do allow myself to think about all he’s gone through health-wise, it makes me cry. I talked to my mother about this today and she told me she felt similarly when her mother (my grams) as she got older. She didn’t want to imagine her mother not being around, so she kind of had it in her mind that if she could keep grams active that grams would be ok. I’m not delusional and have known for a while about the affect diabetes was having on him, but my (naive) thoughts were that as long as he continued to eat right and take his medication it wouldn’t get worse.

And to see my mother and the emotions she’s going through, wondering and worrying and trying her best to stay strong for my dad’s sake … well, let me just say that on that basis no one would ever know that I was her daughter, because she is way stronger than I am when it comes to these types of things. She just has one of those inner strengths that mothers/wives typically have, and all I can do is watch and (hopefully) learn.

Anyway, sorry to be rambling. Just wanted to explain what was going on, and ask for thoughts and prayers. Next week’s biopsy will tell us a lot. Once dad’s back home (hopefully tomorrow) and gets settled in, I’ll be back to blogging. Writing is a form of release for me no matter what mood I’m in, and it’ll be good for me to get back into that groove.

Thanks for listening. :)

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23 Responses to “On oak trees, weeping willows, and the fragility of life (FRIDAY UPDATE)”


  1. Phineas says:

    Best of luck, pal. :)

  2. Prudence says:

    A speedy recovery to your dad and comfort to you and your mom.

  3. Old Goat says:

    I can well appreciate all the emotions you are going through. I just lost my Dad last week after he was in and out of comas and had gone into kidney failure. He was 78.

    Please, don’t get me wrong in the above, where I am looking to alarm you. I’m not.

    I will keep you in prayers and thoughts. It is difficult to watch and feel somewhat helpless while seeing a loved one go through health problems.

    Keep the faith, and keep happy memories to the forefront of your mind.

  4. Jenfidel says:

    Healing and recovery prayers going up for your dad, Sister!
    He’s still young and has lots of life to live!
    God bless you all.

  5. Consider the prayers from me done and recorded by the Almighty.

    And being in denial of one’s parent’s health conditions only makes you human, sister.

  6. nina says:

    I will pray for you and your family.

  7. Diana says:

    I can understand exactly what you are feeling. My mom (68) is in the hospital right now. Surgery was a success but it hit me hard yesterday that my parents are not immortal. It was like it had never occurred to me that my parents wouldn’t always be here. I could barely handle seeing my “oak tree” Daddy looking so lost and worried and my beautiful Mommy in my pain. I thank God for His gift of clarity and I am going to cherish every minute He gives us together on earth. Life is so very precious and so very short.

  8. camojack says:

    Consider the prayer said…it was.

  9. forest hunter says:

    Lord we pray for your healing touch on this wonderful man…give this whole family peace and strengthen them in their hour of need.

  10. Jo says:

    Read this with moist eyes. Lost my mother seven years ago and, of course, miss her during the holidays and my Dad is 78 and slowly fading–who knows what his future holds? He misses my mother daily but tries to keep the old family traditions going. My prayers for your father and for you.

  11. Kate says:

    May the Lord hear all our prayers and send you and your family comfort, Sister.

    What you are feeling right now is what everyone goes thru with aging parents. My folks are 81….my mom has late stage Alzheimer’s and frankly she doesn’t know who I am much of the time, but she recognizes my husband! Funny how your brain works! My dad is a dynamo of energy and cares for her with the help of daily visiting nurses and she can still stay at home with him. Needless to say, this is weighing heavy on him. Luckily my brother and sister in law live across the street. I have the same feelings and feel a bit guilty because they live so far away and I can’t help out much.

    Hopefully the docs will find a medical way to deal with his issues…he is still very young!

  12. ST says:

    Thanks, y’all – God bless you.

  13. Tango says:

    …prayers sent. Jehovah Rophe is the God Who Heals. He makes a way when there seems to be none.

    Go in peace, little sister….

  14. Army Mom says:

    God Bless your father and your family. I pray for your father to heal and for your family to be strong and patient.

  15. NC Cop says:

    Consider it done!

    Tell your father that I said: “NEVER GIVE UP!!!!”

  16. Tibby says:

    He and your family are in my prayers. Gods Blessing on you all.

  17. Lorica says:

    We will always be here for you Dear. I was lifting you and your parents up as I was reading. The Lord is with you, and He knows your heart. Jesus cried when he found out about Laserus. It is ok to cry, crying has nothing to do with strength or weakness, it has everything to do with your heart, and just how much you love and care for your Dad. It is all good Dear. God bless you for sharing with us. We will be right here, standing by your side, please know that. – Lorica

  18. bd says:

    may you, your mom, your dad have the peace of God which transcends all understanding…

    yours in prayer

  19. Tom TB says:

    Prayers sent, Sister.

  20. Zippy says:

    My prayers are with your father and your family..

  21. Taxpayer says:

    I hope all goes well for your dad. It is quite the shocker to realize your parents (unlike other parents) aren’t superhumans. In 2002, my dad had angioplasty. It was the first time he’d ever been hospitalized. I couldn’t be there because I was caring for my flu-ridden child, and we lived 150 miles away. The surgery went well. My dad called me when he got home and said he was doing fine. After I hung up, I broke down and bawled like a baby. :((

    The agonizing worry you feel is the measure of love you have for your father. Well wishes to him.

  22. Great White Rat says:

    Prayers for your and your family here as well, ST. I’ve observed what you’re going through close up, and I know it’s very difficult. You’ll find the inner strength (apparently inherited) to deal with this too.