One morning I awoke to my mother coming into my room around 5:30 in the morning telling me that my dad had a seizure (from Epilepsy) and that an ambulance was on their way. After my mom had told me, I went into complete shock, as I don’t remember what my exact thoughts were in that moment. A few minutes later my dad was put into the ambulance and was on his way to the emergency room. By that time it was about 6:00 AM and my mother called my grandparents to let them know their son was in the hospital and that they would be on their way soon. My mom came into my room and let me know that my brother and I should be ready to leave for the hospital in a few minutes. Initially I refused, I was tired and just wanted to sleep. My mom yelled at me, “It’s your Dad!” I gave in to my mom’s orders and left for the hospital.
I remember him lying there, hooked up to the IV, somehow managing to say that he was “glad to see us.” Eventually my grandparents arrive and we were all talking in by my dad on the hospital bed. After another hour or so my grandparents offered to take my brother and I home while my mom stayed with my dad at the hospital. On our way back to the house my grandma asked us, “What we were going to do when we got home.” My brother and I both responded with, “sleep.”
A few days later I remember overhearing my mom saying to someone that she “thought there was a possibility” (which I assume is a reference to the possibility that my dad could have died).
Now that I reflect on this I come up with two questions: What are my feelings towards my dad knowing that he was in the hospital and I was resistant to go there? And why did my grandma ask, “What we were going to do when we got home”?
For the first question I think about how my mom and grandparents responded with their strong desire to be with my dad as well as considering how a close, loving family would have reacted. By close, loving family I mean a son who gets right out of bed and immediately goes to the hospital instead of doing nothing at all.
For the second question I realize the fact that my grandma is a very devout Catholic, attends mass most days of the week, and prays the Hail Mary at every meal. In my early years when I would sleepover at my grandparent’s house, before bed my grandma would always tell me to remember to say my prayers. Now when I think about the question, I think she was cleverly inquiring if my brother and I were going to pray for my dad. I know for a fact that praying for my dad was one of her top priorities, which makes me question myself.
Does it mean I don’t love my dad? Do I not care about him? Am I so selfish that I cared more about sleep than the fact that my dad was in the hospital after sustaining a life-threatening seizure? Should I have prayed for my dad?