Such a simple plan

So I suppose a brief update is in order.

My dad has been in hospital for roughly 4 weeks. Through two major operations, a spell on a breathing machine, an episode of mild disorientation, a few organs lighter and more antibiotics than a 3000 year old fungus infested coffee cup.

It has been somewhat up and down to say the least. ‘Set back’ is a truly devastating turn of words. We’ll get there. I’m pretty sure we’ll get there, it’ll just take time. I continue to keep the details of our lucky day in Hell and how all this feels, I’m just not quite sure if I’ll ever get round to sticking it on the site.

I spend roughly between 4 and 6 hours a day in the hospital in Belfast with Dad. A lot of the time he sleeps and I read books (5 Chronicles of Narnia, a John Pipier, a Kurt Vonnegut, The Great Divorce, The Pilgrim’s Regress, a lot of CS Lewis essays and finally, at last – On the Road). Me and Mum have developed all kinds of little routines to fill our days and keep us sane. We even bring a flask of hot water to the ward so we can have a cup of tea and coffee when we’re there.

This leads to a strange, slightly fractured lifestyle. I’m used to working and routines and planning ahead. And now I plan no further than a day or two in advance (and frequently cancel), always waiting for the next crisis. This is strange for me. This is losing control of my petty little importances (sic). This should be driving me loopy but it’s not. I am eternally grateful that it’s not.

I’ve taken to cycling to Scarva and back of an evening with some of the lads. Simply to get out of the house and avoid the phone ringing. We end up coming back in the dark along the tow path, with narrowly slit eyes to avoid the flies. Riding back in the dark feels like Africa, just cause there’s no artificial light. It’s nice to find new experiences in your own town when you’re 26. They become fewer and further between.

I have such plans. Such plans to read, to write short stories, to study medicine all over again and actually learn something. To use my time wisely and meet people for coffee and build depth and honesty and integrity in my relationships. To go to prayer meetings and church and feel part of a community.

But time flies when everything you’ve held most dear hits the proverbial fan. Well I wouldn’t exactly call this fun, would I? And so I only occasionally meet my ambitions. Never mind Paradise Lost, I’ve still got the (not so) new Harry Potter to get through.

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September 2007
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