When I arrived at the hospital, and walked into Dad’s room, something miraculous happened. The little old man laying in that hospital bed wasn’t scary anymore. The angry, bitter expressions that had once permanently changed his countenance, was gone. Instead replaced by a smile as he saw me walk in the door. A smile y’all!
From that very moment forward, the angry man with so many hurtful things to say; the man who never spoke without complaining, and criticizing suddenly began to speak in a whole new way. The words please and thank you found their way into his vocabulary. The man who once told everyone what to do, and how to do it…while telling them everything they were doing was wrong, no longer said anything hateful. It was a miracle!
There was another miracle rolled into the miracle of Dad’s attitude. It was forgiveness. Not him forgiving me, but me forgiving him. It was me looking at that little old man, helpless, in that graying hospital gown…unable to do anything for himself…and feeling compassion for his situation. Y’all, something was changing in me! God had begun a journey in me!
Days turned into a week. I started to feel excitement at the fact that Dad hadn’t had a drink in many days. His attitude continued to improve, and my compassion continued to grow as Dad looked forward to me arriving at the hospital for our visits. He allowed me to speak with the doctors to determine what was best for his overall care. He even allowed me to begin the process of getting him into a nursing facility. Yep! It was another miracle! This is the same man who was certain he would never…ever…go into a nursing home. Here he sat, tears in his eyes, because he knew that he was not physically able to return home. He actually had concern for my Mother, and said that he knew she could no longer care for him. Hello miracles! They were literally everywhere! Another miracle happened. Those bricks of self doubt, abuse, hurt, and worthlessness began to further crumble. My brick wall was on shaky ground. The foundation could give way at any moment.
Then, transfer day arrived. The paramedics skillfully moved Dad from his hospital bed to a gurney preparing for his journey to the rehab/nursing facility. Things were about to change. I experienced something that day. A miracle deep within my soul. After visiting with Dad in his new surroundings, I prepared to go home to Momma’s for the night. I was tired. It had been a long week. There, at that very moment, I looked back from the door to Dad’s room. I saw a frail little old man, sitting all alone in a wheelchair, clothed in a hospital gown, looking out the window. I had to rush out the door to my car as quickly as possible. The sight of that little man caused years of hurt, bitterness, and anger to crumble to dust. I began to sob. Once in my car, the water works were beyond pretty. I’m such an ugly crier. I felt my soul heaving. I was hurting that I had just left him there, in that condition. I felt overwhelming concern for his well being. I felt compassion. I felt forgiveness. I felt something I had never felt before. It was truly a miracle.
Tears gave way to crumbling bricks, and somewhere deep inside of me, God began building a new foundation. One composed of love, hope, encouragement, and confidence. God began making me…the me He had always wanted me to be. I had waited at the mountain long enough, and the journey had begun.