My dad had a heart attack.
He had a heart attack while sitting with me at the dinner table.. On a rando Tuesday night. (I believe Baz Luhrmann said it best: “The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind; The kind that blindside you at 4pm on some idle Tuesday.”). And, heart attacks.. They don’t look like they do on tv. There wasn’t a clenching of the chest and a fall to the ground (Although, I’m sure that’s some people’s experience) There were pains.. and tightness.. And as I drove him to the hospital, his breathing got louder.. he told me to run the lights and the stop signs. We made it to the ER, and he collapsed.
Two blockages cleared, and three cardiac stents later.. Dad is back home, and doing well.
Scariest. Moment. Of. My. Life
As they were ripping off his clothing, hooking him up to monitors.. I stepped to the side – and bawled. I thought about my (nonexistent) kids, and how terrible it would be for them to never meet him.. And, all the vacations we said we’d take.. All of the stuff that we said “One day.. Next year.. Maybe next time” .. And, how scared in that moment he must’ve been.. Thinking about never seeing us again.. These were the last moments of his life – what were his regrets?
What an effing wake up call.
With anything in life, there’s a lesson. Thank god this wasn’t my Dads final curtain call. And yes, obviously his lesson is to take better care of himself – however there’s just something so much bigger. For me, the lesson was to just STOP.
I’m an over thinker, in a big way. I won’t go on a date with a guy if I think he doesn’t fit all of my qualifying points of the man I’d like to marry. I’m a worrier. I sometimes get panic attacks because I have two years to thirty and I’m not where I thought I’d be. I think too long term. I have a dress in my closet I bought in October, that I’m saving for New Years. Now, some of these characteristics have come from my life experience – and rightfully so – and some of them are just responsible.. But, this very moment, could be your last. Do not save outfits – in fact create an event to wear it to. Go on the damn date – it’s not a marriage proposal, it’s a drink. Stop worrying about the future, you’re not really in control of it anyway.
So, very quickly – the universe has given me one big shake.
From the moment my dad left the hospital.. I’ve acted a bit erratic (at least, for me) – doing things I’d never ordinarily do. And you know what? I’m pretty happy. I don’t regret anything. I’m living for the moment, for the first time in my life – not thinking about every possible consequence. Sometimes we get so caught up in where we want to be in life, we forget our life is happening right now.
And this could be my emotional exhaustion talking, but as for the silly stuff: Should I ask him on a date? Don’t care. Why hasn’t he called? DONT care. Is that girl talking about me? OH, that’s right, I don’t care. Little, minuscule, bs, worry – I can’t care. Because if you care about that kind of stuff, you’re welcoming worry and drama into your life. Che sera sera. Ask him out, if he wants to see you he’ll call, if he doesn’t he’s not that into you – move on – and she probably IS talking about you, but you love yourself enough to just not give an ef.
To summarize: live your damn life.
Feel every moment. Love with every fiber of your being. Say’I love you’ to the people who matter every chance you get. Don’t get caught up in the negativity and bullshit (it’s so easy to do). Speak up – say how you feel (what do you have to lose?) Surrender to the universe. Get out of your comfort zone. Believe. Eventually all of the dots will connect.
Above all, be thankful.
For me, I’m thankful, that tonight when I sit down for dinner – my dad’s gonna be sitting right across from me – where he belongs.
Happy Thanksgiving Kids.