There are certain things that happen in our lives that thrust us into moments of reflection. While some of these moments shine, others sting with sorrow. Recently my Opa (German expression for grandfather) went into surgery for a double bypass. Originally it was supposed to be a triple bypass and a heart valve replacement. Luckily after a few tests and images of his heart, the doctors diagnosed and reduced it to no valve replacement and only a double bypass. Still, a surgery like this is terrifying because the surgeons have to stop the heart while they operate. For more than an hour the patient is technically “dead” until the surgeons perform a pure miracle by bringing them back to life.
While all this has been happening I’ve been living my life in Topeka an hour away. The thought of my Opa having a massive operation with plenty of involved risk is the only thought that’s been darting through my mind. When a loved one of yours is in a battle between life and death your mind rushes to the worst outcome. What if something happened during the surgery? What if they couldn’t bring him back? What if a complication from the surgery causes something bad to happen weeks later during the recovery stage? I cannot bear the thought of losing him so soon. I know it most sound selfish, because I don’t get to see him as often as my Mom, Dad and siblings, but he needs to see me graduate college, and he needs to dance with me during my wedding reception. I want him to be able to play with his great grandchildren and tell them the same kind of stories he told me when I was little.
I know that sometimes we take our loved ones for granted. Why do we do it? I suppose it’s because we get so caught up in making the best of ourselves and thinking about our futures that we forget to appreciate what’s already there. I don’t want to forget. I don’t want to be grateful only when it’s moments like these that spark that remembrance. My Opa is such a wonderful person who never ceases to encourage all my aspirations while pushing me to want more out of life – to never settle for anything mediocre. How could a person that special – that remarkable – be taken for granted? I love him so much and I pray that God blesses him during his journey into recovery.