I’ve had a week to wonder if the brutal heat and humidity are a preview of coming attractions for those poor souls in God’s Waiting Room headed in the wrong direction. It’s a frequent topic of discussion for my father. He’s not yet made peace with his maker. Then again he has a lot of ground to cover with 91 years under his belt.
He’s hard on himself; as hard as he was on me and my siblings decades ago. He did the best he knew how parenting four hellions; of that I'm convinced having raised a few of my own. That we both fell short comes with the territory.
Maybe the years of slow decline are part of God’s grand design. Removing all distractions – ambition, vanity, pride – certainly encourages reflection and humility. Regret has been part of the picture, too.
But the suffering?
I grapple with that part of the equation when the variables represent the frail and the infirmed.
That was my mantra yesterday while watching the shadows from the fading sun tiptoe across the floor towards my father’s hospital bed. The stubborn old man had finally found a moment of peace courtesy of an opioid drip silently and steadily dulling the pain.
Approximately 1.6 million hip fractures occur worldwide each year. My father’s risk of mortality just went up three-fold when he broke his femur Wednesday during a fall. His independence for the rest of his life just went down the tube.
He knows nothing of the statistics, much less what lies ahead. The surgery this morning will be the least of his problems should he survive the ordeal.
Is it horrid of me to pray for an end to all his suffering?