This past Thursday, my dad was admitted to the hospital for pneumonia. In the wee hours of Friday morning he was having so much trouble breathing that he had to be taken to the ICU where he was intubated and put on a ventilator. I got the call Friday morning, then immediately went to pick up my mom to head to the hospital. I took this photo of the sunrise with my iPhone while sitting at a stop light.
My dad steadily improved and by Saturday afternoon he was able to get off the ventilator. And I am happy to report that yesterday was moved out of ICU and was able to be taken off oxygen. Hopefully he will get to come home in a few days...meanwhile our family is incredibly relieved and grateful....grateful for the skilled doctors, nurses, and techs, grateful for the thoughts and prayers of friends and family.
During the course of the weekend, I spent a considerable amount of time at the hospital. A lot of time was spent sitting and talking with my mom, waiting on doctor's orders, waiting on test results, watching my dad's monitor, observing the activity on the rest of the floor of the ICU.
Friday afternoon, my mom had gone home for a couple of hours to get grab a few things for staying at the hospital. I was sitting in the chair in my dad's room listening to the gentle drone of the ventilator and the alternating fill and release of the circulation cuffs around my dad's calves. For all of the frenzy in the ICU, it was a relatively quiet and peaceful moment.
My thoughts turned to my photography...for a half a second I entertained the idea of taking a photo. But I just couldn't bring myself to do it. It was too hard. It hurt too much.
It was the same story on Saturday. That afternoon though, my mom had urged me to go outside and get some fresh air. It was a beautiful day - warm and sunny. A bright blue sky and the promise of spring in the dormant buds on the tree branches. Another quick snap with my iPhone.
For two days I didn't pick up my big camera.
Understandably, this might not seem like a big deal to you. But considering that I have taken a photo every single day for the past three years, it seemed odd that I wasn't able to show up to my photography. For all of my big talk around here about being mindful and learning to see things differently, when push came to shove, I couldn't do it.
Maybe a stronger photographer could have found a way to tell this story - the hospital, the tubes, the wires - better with photos, but quite franky, I really don't care. I didn't need to see - I didn't need mindfulness....I was there. I saw, I was present. What I needed was comfort. What I needed was hope.
I don't share a lot here about my personal beliefs, but I am both a religious and highly spiritual person. And when I need hope, I turn to my faith. When I need hope, I often look to the sky.
Looking to the sky puts my present circumstances into a little perspective. It reminds me that there is a much bigger picture outside of my very limited line of sight. The rising sun gives me hope. The setting sun encourages trust.
I am so happy to share that my dad is finally out of the ICU and in now on the road to recovery. I'm sure as time goes on, there will be more time to reflect on the events of this past weekend and their impact of my photography. But I'm ok with that too.
Once again, I would like to express my family's profound gratitude to all of you for your thoughts and prayers. They have been a great source of comfort and strength to all of us.