My Dad has a solid 24 years of experience with heart disease. Prior to 1984 he was merely being treated for elevated cholesterol. When he had a heart attack in February of that year, things got much more serious.
In 1998, a year before I met My Beloved, my Dad went into cardiac arrest while I was on the phone with my Mom discussing car insurance. A month later he came home from the hospital with an implanted defibrillator.
And I've walked on eggshells around him ever since. That's a whole post unto itself, my inability to enjoy the time I have with him because of the ever-present fear that it'll be the last time I ever see him.
A whole series of posts, that topic could fill, as a matter of fact.
But this post is about something else.
Yesterday when I dropped off some yarn I'd ordered online for my Mom, my Dad came bouncing through the kitchen with the announcement that his heart had reverted back to normal sinus rhythm.
The cardiac arrest happened because it was abnormal - had been for a year. The defibrillator wasn't a cure for his irregular rhythm, merely a protection against another serious case of arrhythmia and, or course, cardiac arrest. Except for a brief period of about 6 months sometime during the middle of my pregnancy with Thomas, my Dad's heart has been beating abnormally for more than 10 years.
So, for the first time since late 2004, his heart is beating perfectly normally. He climbed the stairs without gasping for breath. He sounded wonderful. Gleeful.
I stood there, my mouth gaping, and asked how, HOW this could have magically happened. How, after so long, had his heart just decided to correct itself and beat properly?
There is no answer. It just happens. It likely won't last, but the reprieve is a huge blessing because it spares his heart the additional wear and tear of an irregular rhythm.
We sat down in the living room, and again I asked, mostly rhetorically, "HOW?"
With the innocence of a child, he said, "I don't know. But of course I pray a lot", and looked at me earnestly as if to say, "So clearly that's why. God has made it so."
And I wanted to cry. Because it's such wonderful news. Because his happiness and relief were palpable. Because it'll lengthen his life. Because he believes in miracles. Because he believes that if you pray hard enough and long enough God will answer those prayers.
And because I don't know if I do, even when someone's beautiful heart is miraculously fixed with no other logical explanation other than, "it happens".