My dad went into the hospital four weeks ago tonight. Four weeks ago tomorrow he was airlifted to a better hospital. We met him at that better hospital, but he had been intubated in flight and was medically sedated. A week, and a long battle later, we decided to let him go which we did three weeks ago Thursday.
I called him the Wednesday before he went into the hospital. He wasn’t feeling well and so our conversation was short. I told him I loved him and would call him that weekend. Well, I didn’t. We found a house, put in an offer, got things set up with the bank, got packing for our trip to more tropical locales. I was going to call him from the airport on Thursday, but we never made it as we were sitting at his bedside, watching a breathing machine lift his head and chest in startled, rhythmic motions.
I have been thinking a lot about regret lately. I am sorry I didn’t call him, I am sorry I missed the last chance I had to hear his voice like I remember it, hear him tell the silly jokes he always had waiting. But he knew I loved him, he knew I was thinking of him even if I didn’t get a chance to call. And I know, for certain, that he would not want me whiling away long hours of my life regretting the last call I never made. The truth is, we had many, many great phone calls and many, many great visits. I got to hear his voice and listen to his jokes. I talked to him a only a week before he was sedated for the last time.
I wonder if I’m justifying my actions, trying to make a false right of my wrong. Or I wonder if I’m being sane and rational, recognizing that I am not perfect, neither is life, and perhaps it’s best to take the good you can and let the rest go.