I didn't spend my Friday night as planned. While I was at work, I got a phone call from my dad. He doesn't usually call me during the day and I was planning on coming home in a few hours, so I had no clue why he was calling. But I had a feeling it would be a call similar to "that call" I once received.
On July 29, 2009, my dad donated his kidney to my step mom -- extending her life and their happy marriage. She also received a pancreas while she was in the hospital; however, the pancreas failed during the night. I heard dad's phone ring and his voice was frantic. I couldn't sleep well from that moment on and finally he woke us up at 6 a.m. telling his about the update, and we left early to go see her in the hospital.
The doctor came into the room as we starred at her with a breathing tube in her mouth. Her eyes were closed, but tears were pouring out of them.
"Heaven's gates just opened up for you because we have a match for a different pancreas in Miami," he said. "We are flying down there now to get it and to do the cross match testing. It doesn't ever happen like this..."
We were thrilled. Scared, but still thrilled about another opportunity to help Beth improve her life. She would no longer be a diabetic with a new pancreas.
Hours passed like days. Finally around 9 p.m. they took her to surgery and she came to the recovery room a little after midnight. The doctor seemed positive and hopeful about this surgery. The first one failed because one side got a blood clot and collapsed.
"But if this one doesn't work," the doctor said. "We won't try again."
Three major surgeries in almost four days. And she handled them like a pro.
Back to Friday:
"Hey Kiddo, we are taking Beth to Indy," Dad said. "They don't know whats going on, but her labs are good and they want to see her. She might get admitted into the hospital over night."
My heart skipped a beat and my body filled with heat.
"Okay," I said. "Well, whatever you need. I am here. I'll stay in Indy tonight and you can stay with me."
So that was the new plan. A different plan. An unexpected plan.
Dad and Beth waited and waited to get a room. Finally around 8 p.m. they decided to admit her until her levels went back to normal.
Dad called and we decided to go out to dinner. The night before Dad gave the most precious gift to his wife, we ate at Qudoba. He loved it. He thought it was the best burrito ever. Okay, maybe not ever, but he surely loved it.
But after the surgery, we went there and he hated it. A lot of kidney transplant patients complain about the way meat and certain foods taste. He had one bite and wanted to rush to the bathroom.
"How about we do to that Qudoba," Dad said. "I remember how good it tasted that one night, and I need to redeem it."
I laughed and knew just where to drive.
We got in line and I practically ordered for him because I remembered what he ordered last time. I have an amazing memory. I could tell you what my regular guests at Arnold's and Scotty's ordered even today and its been years since I have been there.
We laughed and I felt like a kid again. Looking over at my Daddy as he was told me to order whatever I wanted.
"Dinners on me tonight," he said with his big and beautiful smile.
I piled up the veggies on my veggie nachos and I reached the register just to time.
"Would you and your date like drinks this evening," the cashier said to my dad.
He looked at me with his bright blue eyes filled with water from emotions of the day and smiled.
"Yeah, that's my date," Dad said. "That's my baby girl."
"Dad, I'll be your date any day of the week!" I said back.
I love him so much. I am so proud to be his daughter. The cashier went on to say that he just had his first daughther on Tuesday morning and its the best feeling of his life.
"It gives you a special hop in your walk," he said.
No matter how far away I am from him, our relationship continues to grow. He is an amazing man who has taught me a lot in my short 23 years of life.
I'm glad I got to spend my Friday night on a date with my Dad. We shared laughs and stories and life lessons together.
We got Starbucks coffee together and ventured back to the hospital. The smell and hallways are so familiar. It seems like just yesterday I was watching my dad walk past me in his hospital gown, off to save his wife.
Beth ended up getting released Saturday and I'll continue to pray and stay positive about her recovery and life. She is an inspiration, and she is one of the strongest people I know.
My next date will be with my mother, whom I cherish so much. Our last date was a movie, "The Ugly Truth."
Going on dates with your parents is fun! I never thought I'd ever see the day when I would say that, but I just love every minute I get to spend with them. Even Justin's parents. They came down this Sunday and I wouldn't have wanted to spend my Valentine Day's any differently. Their love is the reason Justin is able to love me as much as he does; they are the definition of high school sweet hearts. Actually, middle school sweethearts.
Cheers to more dates with my parents! :) I hope you take time to do the same, if possible.