my mom’s surgery was yesterday morning at 7 am – we had to have her there by 5:45 am. the night before was rough, neither my dad nor my mom could sleep. the thought of going under scares my father, and my mom is easily influenced by my dad’s negative thoughts.
‘what if she doesn’t wake up?’ ‘what if the doctor gives her the wrong drug?’ when my dad had his 8 bypass surgery 13 years ago, he worried that the doctors had put the wrong blood in him and that’s why he felt so weak.
worrying is part of the human experience. we’re good at worrying. and my father is the king of worrying.
i guess it’s from all that practice he’s had over the years, i mean he is 89 years old. and if you worry most of the day, and you add up all those minutes, that’s a lot of worrying.
they say worrying is like praying for the worst, or praying for what you don’t want to happen. worrying is the mind’s creation of mental suffering before anything has had a chance to happen. it’s like allowing your imagination to run amuck into all kinds of dangerous, crazy territory, just so you can let your ego tell you things that reaffirm your greatest fears. it’s like writing a script for a dramatic play and exaggerating all the horrible stuff just so you can have the audience squirm and cry and scream – the more horrible you can make it, the greater the chances of winning an oscar – you being the writer, the actor, the audience, the director and the panel of judges, basically you thinking you’re god, a god who makes bad things happen.
my dad’s greatest fear is that my mom is going to die. he can’t imagine life without her, even with her not being the person he married. for years she hasn’t been able to walk or talk. she spends most of her day in bed, or sitting at her table painting or eating. we hired our team of caregivers to care for her, but they tell me that it’s managing my father and his anger that’s the most difficult part of the job.
when things aren’t going his way (my mom getting better), his ego gets in the way; he yells at the people who aren’t making things better (these caregivers don’t know what they’re doing!) and he worries about losing her.
i hold my dad’s hand, give him a hug, and tell him ‘mommy’s in good hands, she’s a fighter’.
we talked about the wedding, the family and friends and all that we had to be grateful for… we thanked god for the many blessings, and sure enough, mommy came out of the surgery just fine.