The best laid plans...

This week has been very different than the week I had envisioned. While Monday was a normal but busy day, Tuesday was the day I planned to stay home, do some serious writing, make a nice dinner, and catch up on household chores. But a phone call from my mom telling me my dad was in the hospital changed those best laid plans. My mom and I spent the next nearly eight hours (six of those in emergency) at the hospital before my dad was finally settled into a room. Even after several tests, they were still unsure what was wrong with him. Considering his age, such visits are always reason for concern. We didn't hear anything conclusive until the following morning.

Fortunately, the reasons for his illness are not serious and antibiotics have already made a difference. He has a birthday next week and is looking forward to sharing chocolate cake with family and friends. We are hoping he can go home this weekend.

While hospitals are one of my least favorite places to visit (or stay!) and I am far too familiar with this one as my parents have been there too many times in recent years, I must say I have a renewed appreciation for people who work in the health care professions.

More importantly, I am reminded once again how very precious life is. I know there will come a day when God will call my dad home to be with him. I know this life is temporary and we cannot take even one day for granted, which is why I am grateful my dad is still with us. And though he is ready to go be with Jesus, he told me today that as long as God wants him here, and he can be near his family, that is okay with him.

Some might wonder why God allows people to live so long, especially when they cannot do things like they used to, when life becomes less about living and more about existing. But who are we to question the value of others? Every life in precious.

A few weeks ago, as I was leaving the nursing home after a lunch visit with my dad, he told me he was praying for me. He was concerned that I was having some health issues, and this seemed to really trouble him. His concern, his prayers, are such a great example to me of what a godly parent looks like. I hope I mirror the same care and concern for my family every day that I live.

Though this week did not turn out quite like I had hoped, and I also hope my dad goes home soon, I know God had a reason for each day to go as it did. And there are lessons to be learned even in this. Next week we celebrate Daddy's 89th birthday. And I hope he has many more years to come!