The Centre Of My Universe | Life Love and Hiccups: The Centre Of My Universe
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Monday, 14 April 2014

The Centre Of My Universe

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It was twelve years ago, my first born son was just 7 weeks old and my beautiful father was in a coma. Instead of enjoying everything that came with the birth of his first grandson, my dad was fighting for his life in an Intensive Care Unit.

I can remember the night that it all happened like it was only yesterday. My dad had been hospitalised earlier that day with some sort of infection and as evening settled in, my family gathered at my Mum and Dad's house to have some food, get some rest and wait for further news.

When the news finally came, it wasn't what we expected - he was being placed into a coma and machines would keep him alive so his body could have a chance to heal.

I have never admitted this to anyone, but that awful night I rang my Dad's mobile number at least 50 times, just so I could hear his voice on the answering service. For some reason I believed that by hearing him I could hang on to him and prevent him from slipping away from us.

Over the next couple of weeks I bargained with God and the universe. You make my Dad better and I will do this. Keep my Dad alive and I promise I will be all that and more yada yada.

I lost count of the dozens of promises I made to the heavens that night and those following weeks. There was a lot of them and all I knew is that I would do anything to have my precious Dad wake up from that Coma.

And he did.

He beat death by the skin of his nose and in true fighting spirit he won against all odds and continued to improve each day.

For a long time he was still a very unwell man and one day in his confused post coma state, he was convinced that one of the machines in his room was a lemon juicer. He told my mum all about the beautiful juicy lemons the nurses were juicing in his room and had we not known that he was in a completely sterile space with not a lemon in sight, we would almost have been convinced.

Instead we knew it was the drugs and the effects of waking from a coma and despite it being a reminder of such an awful time - it kind of became a long running joke and one we still tease him about to this day.

It seems to be that my family's way of dealing with tough times is to use humour to help us through.

I remember as we sat in that ICU room next to his bed, waiting, just waiting, we joked that if and when Dad woke from his coma, we would tell him a whole lot of BS about what had been happening in the world whilst he was out. Things like how his grand kids were married and he was now a Great Grandad and that Bindi Irwin had become Prime Minister. We laughed at the ridiculousness of the things we were coming up with and it helped us... the laughter that is.

We didn't have the heart to carry it through though. When he finally came to, we were so overwhelmed with relief at having him back... all jokes were long forgotten about.

Although I was so incredibly relieved and grateful that my Dad continued to get better, something changed within me throughout the experience. An invisible wall went up and without even realising it a part of me withdrew from him, frightened that at any stage he would be taken away from me and I would feel that desperate heartache all over again.

As time went on and the memory of that awful period faded, the wall slowly came down and I am ashamed to admit that in hindsight, I began to take for granted that he and my Mum would always be here.

I was preoccupied with my growing family and my visits with my Mum and Dad became less frequent. We would still talk on the phone nearly every day, but I just always seemed to be too busy to find the time to stop in for a cuppa or a glass of wine.

I became complacent.

Over the weekend my beautiful Dad was taken to hospital by ambulance and as I learnt about his failing heart my own heart broke into a million pieces all over again.

Deja Vu... except that this wasn't some fantastical phenomena, it seemed that this really was happening all over again.

Once again the bargaining began and I spent all night apologising to God for not praying except for when I wanted something. I begged of the universe to forgive me for my complacency and to give me the chance to tell my Dad just how much I love him and prove that he and my mum are the centre of my universe.

For now my prayers have been answered and whilst he is still in ICU my Dad is doing better.

When my mum rang him yesterday to say Good Morning he told her about a beautiful orange juicing machine in his room.... my mum nearly keeled over and my Dad the cheeky bugger was cacking himself.

It seems humour is getting us through yet again and the fact that he is up for playing pranks is sweet music to my ears.

The point of sharing this with you, is to remind you... don't hold back from telling someone you love them because you think you have time. You just don't know how many chances you have left to tell them.

If you are lucky enough to still have the opportunity, pick up the phone right now or drive there and tell them, then tell them again and again and again.

Don't let life and it's busyness become more important than spending precious time with loved ones as time is a gift that should never be taken for granted.

As for you Dad - well you had your chance to cark it twelve years ago. You had your chance and you missed it so now you are simply just going to have to stick around and play some more pay back pranks on your crazy family for a while longer.

As long as I have any bargaining power left with the universe - you aren't going anywhere.

I love you!