Today started early, sitting on the couch with Sacha when it was still dark. He read to me, books about goslings, while everyone else slept. Then he told me about the game he and his buddy play at school:'Bibby in Babbyland'. In this game, they build the 'bibbies' (acorns) houses out if 'babbies'(rocks). I liked the sound of that game. After the joy of our rare one on one sharing session, my boy took advantage of a mollified mother to ask if he could play the Xbox. Of course I folded like a deck of cards and decided to go back to bed.
I crawled back under the covers, the novelty of the morning chill made me grateful for their cosy comforts. I drifted back to heavy sleep and slept wrapped in those weird morning dreams.
At 9.15, a distant mobile ring dragged me reluctantly from that deep, dreamy slumber, and I half heard half the words wafting out of it:
'It's Mum... Dad... bleed ... emergency...'
I shot out of bed like a startled cat, was dressed and heading for the hospital before the message had time to play out.
Hurried in by the Triage nurse, (you always know things are serious when hospital staff hurry) I fastwalked, dazzled by the glare of fluorescent hospital lights, to find Mum and my sister by a bed, holding my prostrate father's hands, all of us white as his sheets.
The morning passed with nervous whispers, cafeteria coffee, more hand holding and Dane's humour keeping us buoyant. Always a man of few words and even fewer now, Dad's motivations to clarity never fail to amaze me. My sister said to him. 'You're tough, Dad' to which he quipped. 'Yeah, of course... I've got a beard!' And later when talk was getting a little grim and the medical staff were looking nervous, Dad piped up 'I'm not dead yet.' We laughed loudly and nervously and watched the machines that go beep.
Things were not looking good. He needed a procedure but finding the source of the bleed was a long shot.
We called the siblings, warned them of the potential end, waved him off to his procedure, looking down the barrel of a cure or to 'palliate' (who knew that was a verb?). We went home and worried.
'I'm not dead yet' he had said, and indeed he was right. They found the source of his bleed, fixed the glitch and now he is being doted on by ward nurses with veins pumped full of only slightly used blood. That beard is really working for him! And we are all booking in to the Red Cross to replenish some of the precious blood resources that saved Dane's bacon today.
So he lives to fight another day. Halleluia! Praise be!
The rest of us are a little pale and nauseous after the wild ride of today's emotional roller coaster, but nothing some Haighs white chocolate eggs and a gut full of hot cross buns didn't fix.
Trust Dane to make us reenact the Easter story for real, he always was a devoted Catholic. And what with that miracle beard of his and a lifetime of saving lives 'n all, he really is an excellent candidate for the part of the Messiah in today's Passion play.
It was a very good Friday.
Happy Easter to you!