Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Prayers. And, of course, guilt.

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".


Rosepetal said...

I am so glad your Dad's heart has a reprieve. It's such good news!

I'm not much of a praying person. But I can understand why you felt like crying.

For me, things do "just" happen. Illogical, or rather, unlikley things do happen, just like that.


Abby said...

I was just wondering how your dad was doing the other day, so I'm glad to see a happy update.

Miracles do happen, and I'm sure your dad prays just as hard for you every day, too.


Catherine said...

I am glad he is healthy again.

As for the rest...please don't do that to yourself.

Beth said...

So glad to hear your Dad is doing so well.

I have said this to you before, "God isn't controlling this" At least not the God I believe in. God lost a son there is no way he would inflict that pain on anyone if he was in control.

Julia said...

If bad things just happen, then why not good things? And yes, please don't do this to yourself.

I am glad your dad is so much better, though.

B said...

I can guarantee that your Dad prays a lot for you too.

He also doesn't understand why that prayer is not answered in the way that he longs for. And I bet he would trade in his regular beating heart for a different beating heart in your tummy.

It just is how it is.

I accept God to be the creator and sustainer of life. I don't get it when life is not sustained.

Like you, I believe it just is. Not "of God" or "not of God". Just is.

And I reckon I am going to reach a point when I will be grateful for what I have received in my daughters death, not in spite of it.

But not quite yet.