The Award Goes To...

February 28, 2017

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Wednesday through Sunday I spent most of the days with my father at #UCHealth. He was admitted for a pretty serious infection and it took time for the medicine to start catching up with the bad stuff. I think one of the hardest things to do is sit in a hospital room with a loved one who isn't feeling well. Time goes painfully slow and the long periods of silence are deafening. We talked a lot and he told me things I had never heard before, and a bunch of things I had heard many times before and we shared plans for the future, which when you're in your 80's is the next couple months. While I sat with him my wife Diane did her usual incredible job of caring. She cleaned his place and filled his fridge and made sure he had clean clothes, and made sure I was ok. I guess it's the maternal instinct and her gift of touching others, even after all she's been through.

Dad is much better now and he's home and feeling pretty good he told me tonight, you can hear the better in his voice. But while he was in the hospital I had plenty of time to watch as the drama of life went on around us. On the TV they were talking about the upcoming Academy Awards and who would win what and who would wear what. They explained the award presenters were getting $100,000 gift bags, like they lack for anything, and it all seemed to make no sense to me as I watched very sick people and very worried families all around me praying for health.

It has been very hard to get all excited about the wrong movie being read as the winner of an award when you've been in the room next to a family being told their Father is losing all his memory. My award for Best Actor? It goes to the wife who sat beside her 80+ year old husband and gently repeated the doctors instructions in the sing-song voice that has brought her husband comfort for over 50 years of marriage, while pretending she was not afraid of the words she was speaking. Best supporting actress? The nurses who helped my Dad to the toilet, waited for him, helped him shower and then back to bed because they worried about him falling and every time he pushed the call button they came, as if it was the first time he needed help that day.

For all of you who have been called to the medical profession, especially nurses and aides, thank you for the work you do. It is hard, it is demanding, it is often taken for granted and under appreciated, but it is the work of angels. If I was King of the World I'd have an Awards Show for you with $100,000 gift bags. And for caregivers, is there really anything harder than trying to make the pain go away for those you love? We all get our turn at some point in this life and I'm not sure there's anything that can prepare you for it. But I do know you need to be sure to take care of yourself too.

Yea, Dad's doing pretty good...for now...thanks to the Award winners who answered the call to serve others. The ones who should be getting a standing ovation.