Before we stopped by the hospital for a final face-to-face farewell with my mother and father-in-law we loaded Red Rose, our family wagon, onto a car carrier and sidled mattresses onto the end of moving truck before closing the doors one final time before arriving there.
Her third and final surgery scheduled for the week would take place in the early afternoon. She felt significantly better, and more of her cheerful self shone through. There’s something disconcerting about saying goodbye to a loved one in the hospital on most any occasion, but knowing we wouldn’t be a quick drive or flight away raised the level of discomfort.
We stopped by my mom’s home for another loaded goodbye. She would be moving from that home in a matter of weeks. The final home I remember building memories with my dad at. The home where we sat at their long dining table as an extended family and celebrated his birthday and many others. It was also the home where he died, the garage where his body rested until the corners came to remove it. The home I’ll never forget seeing fire trucks and ambulances in front of praying and hoping this was not God’s timing to take my dad home to heaven. It’s bittersweet to lose a fleck of tangible history and the older you get, the more you lose.
When we finally merged onto the freeway it felt phony, as if at any moment we would need to turn around. Acutely aware of the next surgery’s time we drove on with one eye on the road and the other on the clock. We called for updates which came back, “She’s still in surgery.” The surgeon’s plan changed and worry began to grow. We all agreed she should be out of surgery already according to what the doctors scheduled.
Now hours away I called my husband, “We can still turn around, it’s not too late.” What I would do for another moment with my dad I could never rob from my husband. Though shaken he wanted to continue and wait for more information, but the news didn’t come and didn’t come.
As we drove through the Mount Shasta area an update finally came from my brother-in-law. The plans changed when the doctors couldn’t perform the surgery laparoscopically and because of this change they found a life-threatening problem. Fortunately they were able to resolve the problem and put her back together. If her initial gall bladder surgery had gone correctly this life-threatening problem would never been diagnosed let alone fixed.
It’s easy to look at struggle and throw a fist and curse in the air, but often times, there’s a bigger plan at work.
When we look to our circumstances for hope, comfort or affirmation we will feel unstable. Though I faced times where anxiety and worry began to creep in God was good and I took those worries to the throne room quickly. It also helped that I was listening to music throughout the packing process and drive that reminded me of God’s character and the hope those who call on His name have. Super shout out to Citizen Way for truth packed lyrics and great music! They will never know how God used their songs to steer, prompt and comfort my heart throughout the move.
The day slipped to night and we drove on toward our new home.