This week has had it’s highs and lows for sure. We planned to be down in the small town of Rogue River, where I grew up, for a book signing at the annual Rooster Crow. That’s right, Rooster Crow! It’s a weekend festival where people watch roosters crow and this year as an added bonus they had humans crowing. Anyway I scheduled to have a booth to sign copies of Blind Descent, but a week prior to going down I got the news that my Dad was going to have to go up to Portland to have a double-bypass surgery for his heart. So we adjusted for a flexible schedule…
The southern Oregon signing had many highs, from a guy visiting from Alaska in a restaurant recognizing me from my book, the owner of a bookstore giving me a hug because I came into her store (Blind Descent was on the shelf at the checkout counter), to a Chinese-only speaking man giving me a hug for my accomplishments, to signing several books, having inspiring conversations and catching up with people I went to high school with. During this time I was receiving updates from my Mom on my Dad’s progress. The surgery was successful but he wasn’t in a state to be seen on my way down so we planned to spend a few hours on the drive back to Seattle on Sunday. My Mom relayed the news that although the surgery went well he was having complications with blood pressure, irregular heart beat and a fever. This went on the entire weekend, but there was nothing I could do so I put on a happy face and completed my obligation of the signing. Early Sunday we headed up to Portland where my Dad was doing much better. He was still in ICU with plenty of tubes and wires connected but he was in high spirits.
Throughout my life I’ve been presented with several situations that have helped me reflect and appreciate life more. Things that occurred as a kid, in the military and now in the mountains (especially on Everest). They help put things in perspective and if handled correctly can create a positive outlook on life. The analogy of ‘find your Everest’ get’s over played. Today let’s mix it up with “find your double bypass.” I didn’t really know what a bypass was until my Dad explained it yesterday. Other arteries or veins are grafted to the coronary arteries to bypass atheroscleroticnarrowings and improve the blood supply to the myocardium (heart muscle) (Wikipedia). I guess that’s true with most things in life. Until they hit close to home you’re ignorant of the details. One day my Dad is walking around full of life, the next he has a tube down his throat and is barely hanging onto life. One great thing this past week has allowed is an outreach of prayers and hope from several people I really don’t know other than by social media posts / tweets. But it’s the power of prayer that helps lift those in need up when they most need it. For that I am grateful. I hope that you are able to find your ‘bypass’, without experiencing a real one, to realize how fragile life is and to make each day amazing!
“The humble shall see this, and be glad: and your heart shall live that seek God.” Psalm 69:32