My father started acting strange as he excused himself shortly before mealtime and got into the car and started talking on the phone. My mom asked me to check on him and he said everything was okay as he wanted to have a private conversation. Turns out dad was on the phone with the hospital as he thought he had symptoms of a stroke. When dad decides to go to the doctor on his own accord and not because of my mother's constant nagging you know something is awry.
Mom asked me to take him to Overlake hospital requesting she could come as well. I told her to stay put and enjoy the meal as I had everything under control and this was probably nothing. I took dad in and preliminary results showed no signs of stroke, but rather a low carbon dioxide level in the blood due to stress.
My father is going in for surgery in a few weeks for a clogged artery in his neck so that may account for some of his worries. Still having to stand there with him in the ER joking around with him as we poked fun at his condition was an eye opening experience. I imagined myself now being the parent, having to act solid as a rock fielding frantic calls from my family ensuring everyone that the situation was fine and I had complete control of the situation.
They probably knew it was a lie. Internally I was freaked the fuck out. I looked at my father lying in that bed wondering how he must have felt seeing my mom, sister, or myself in the hospital gowns all those times. Some of those incidents where I was admitted were due to my stupid behavior as a teen which made me feel even more grief. He was the one who had to comfort the family in my time of medical crisis. He had to be the one to deliver the message that all was well in our world when the truth was he had really no idea. In days like these I realize how hard being a man can be, although I will admit it's easier than being a woman.
It goes without saying that I didn't get to enjoy a Thanksgiving meal as after dad was released I had to go into work, but this day gave me another reason to be thankful.
"I celebrated Thanksgiving in an old-fashioned way. I invited everyone in my neighborhood to my house, we had an enormous feast, and then I killed them and took their land." - Jon Stewart