Well, it’s officially not my birthday anymore…has been that way for almost an hour. We just got home about 45 minutes ago. It was a relatively monotonous day, but was triumphant and awesome, probably one of the best birthdays I’ve had.
This time last year, Dad was in the hospital; it was the night that we went to see the Lion King, and for a split second at dinner, I felt like everything was going to be okay. I had Joey check on Dad during intermission, and he everything seemed fine. Little did I know that it was leading up to what would be the absolute worst day of my life. That night, in the early morning hours, Dad went into atrial fibrillation and had to be rushed to CCU. Mom called me at 3:40 in the morning and we left immediately for the hospital, and then spent much of the next several days in the CCU/ICU waiting room (not because dad was critical, but at first because he did need constant care and then because they didn’t have any rooms on the cardiac floor for him). Last year’s birthday was terrible. I was faced with the fear that I wouldn’t get to have my Dad around anymore, and the thought of celebrating was the absolute last thing on my mind. In fact, I felt guilty for thinking about anything other than what I could be doing to help hold the family together.
The funny thing about people in an ICU waiting room is that they tend to bond into a little band of friends; they are all dealing with uncomfortable, serious, and sometimes life-threatening situations, so something inside them draws them to one another to try to comfort and pray for each other and help however they can. We laughed with people, prayed with people, encouraged people, cried when there was a death. Sometimes I still remember to pray for the people I’ve come in contact with.
So, today, I wanted to do something totally different and a little wild, to do something that no one would ever really expect me to do in a million years. I had been thinking for quite some time about getting a tattoo, but I’d always been afraid of the prospect of any kind of phyiscal pain, so I’d shied away from it. A few months ago, I decided that, after years and years of gnawing my nails to the quick and being in so much pain I couldn’t even type, I should be able to handle a tattoo. We tentatively set the date for the first weekend in August because Joey would finish his Hebrew classes then, but when he was able to get out of the last one, we changed the date to my birthday.
Suffice it to say that we’re all inked up and thrilled. Here are a few pics from the day: