I haven't mentioned this, but my Mom is in the hospital again, this time to have the other hip replaced. She went in last Friday. Now, due to working, I didn't get a chance to visit her until today. So, I drove up to my folks and me and Dad went into Boston to see her.
As far as the surgery goes, she's doing better. She's got less pain now, and they also found out she fractured a bone. This might not sound like good news, and it really isn't, but she's been bitching that the hip that's already been done has been hurting her more than it should and her doctor, who is, to be blunt, and ass, kept dismissing it, like she was talking out her ear. Well, they did an X-ray for something else, and sure enough, found a fracture. They can't do anything for it, but it does explain her pain and now that she knows the reason and knows it will improve, she's feeling better about it. I can see that logic. Her doctor was making her feel like she was making it all up, and that must have made her wonder if indeed this pain was "in her mind." Well, it's not, so there, *sticks out tongue* you dirtwad doctor! BITE ME!
So, we had a pretty good visit. She wanted us to bring her a book, but she called after we left, so we didn't get the message. However, the hospital gift store sells "recycled paperbacks" that were found in rooms after people left for 50 cents. I bought what looked like a relatively tame romance novel. Historical romance novels are good when you're sick, because they usually aren't overly taxing on the brain. If they're well written, it's just a story that takes you along until the end, where you know that the scoundral is really a great guy, and he will get the shy, but beautiful virgin. After of course, they've had sex several times, which makes her not a virgin anymore, but you know those loveable rakes. They can overlook that, cause they're the ones that took her virginity anyway.
I also washed out her slipper sox, cleaned her crutches, fetched her ice water, and helped her get into bed. I actually enjoy doing little things for her when she's at the hospital, because I know what they mean. The hospital just changed the rules. They used to give the patients new slipper socks every other day, now they only give out one pair every five days. Had they warned my mother, she would have brought her own slipper socks in, enough for several days. So, I washed out the pair they just replaced. So, day after tomorrow, she can have clean slipper socks. Yes, this sounds retarded, I admit, but I remember when I was at the hospital, I felt so darned dirty and they wouldn't let me take a shower. When you're not feeling good, it's the little things that can make or break you. Clean socks, a good sponge bath, clean hair. If you feel dirty, you just lie in bed all day and feel disgusting.
Well, we stayed there for about four hours. Then some other folks came to visit, so we figured that was a good time to leave. We were stuck in Boston durring rush hour, which I remember living through before and it sucked then, it sucked now. The Mass pike was clogged up for a bit too, which is is a new addition to the traffic hell in Boston. I never remember that before. Usually the Mass pike was the only way to not get stuck in traffic, at least once you cleared Boston itself. We were clogged until the Natick exit.
But, it gave us
And talk we did. We started by talking about how Todd does not believe in organ donation, because he isn't quite sure that you won't need your body when you die. No, he knows that your earthly body rots away, but there is a part of him that's wondering if when you die, your spiritual body will be like your physical one, so if you donate your eyes, you'll be blind in the afterlife.
That got to a discussion about would my mother then have no knees and no hips, because she's had them replaced, which I got to explain how that doesn't count, cause she kept them as long as she could. Yes, by this point, the conversation was getting a bit tongue in cheek, but that's okay, cause Todd wasn't there.
So, then my father brings up The Apostle's Creed. I assume most people know it, but just in case...
I believe in God, the Father Almighty,
the Creator of heaven and earth,
and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord:
Who was conceived of the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried.
He descended into hell.
The third day He arose again from the dead.
He ascended into heaven
and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty,
whence He shall come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit.
I believe in the holy catholic church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and life everlasting.
Dad's problem was the one line "The resurrection of the body." As he explained, "What body? If my body is going to be resurected, I want it to be the body I had when I was 19, not the one I have now!"
And then I said, "Uhm... I never had a problem with that line, because I always believed it was talking about Christ's body... that when he rose from the dead, it wasn't just a spirit, it was actually him, in the flesh."
To which he was stunned and said, "Wow, I never thought of it that way!"
Somehow, this lead to the discussion of heaven and what heaven would be like. Dad is of the opinion that Heaven is not going to be all champagne by the swimming pool with harp music. He believes that part of what makes the human spirit is even if you're happy, you need to do things, you need to make things even better. He believes there will be work to do in heaven.
I told him that I believe heaven was a chance to learn. That there is some place or some area of heaven, which is sorta like the library. The only difference, that instead of theories, you can learn the truth. You wonder why the dinosaurs died out? No theories, you learn exactly why they died out. If you want to "see" it, that can be arranged too. You want to have a chat with Abraham Lincoln? You can do it.
To which my dad brought up the idea that once you get to Heaven, you already know everything, so what would be the point?
To which, I said, "That's no fun!"
And he agreed.
We also discussed the idea of being perfect after death and I said that I don't think we'd exactly be perfect... but we'd get rid of all our emotional baggage when we got there. All those painful things that have happened to us in our lives, the scars we carry? Gone. Everyone will be the very best they can be. Yes, some folks might be funnier than others. Some folks might be grumpier. But all the head games? Gone. You will have it in you to forgive your enemies, because it just doen't matter anymore. Those were all concerns when you were alive.
It was a great conversation, one that held us through the ride home and then through dinner. And while it may not sound like much writing it down, it was just really nice. It's been a long time since my father and I got into a total discussion. Oh sure, we talk. He tells me about his life, I tell him about mine. But we don't exchange ideas very often.
So, I got the chance to see my mother, which I really wanted to do. I've felt bad that she's been at the hospital for a week and I haven't had the chance to visit. I'm glad I got the chance to do some little things to make her stay a little better. And, I had the chance to talk with my dad.
It was a pretty good day.