Yesterday

Yesterday I watched my dad wrestle with Death on a table in the ER. It wasn't angry or violent but instead something closer to the way a little brother would wrestle a bigger brother. He growled and laughed and cussed a little as if Death was giving him a noogie as his body writhed and a deep purple-blue began to take over. He told us he loved us and kissed our heads. I held his hand till they wheeled him off. He was cut wide open by one of the best heart surgeons in the world who seemed to be a little giddy when he told us afterward with a twinkle in his eye that he had preformed a surgery at "the pinnacle of difficulty, the pinnacle of complexity". He told us it was like a bomb had gone off in his chest and that he had stitched his insides together like stitching a soft-boiled egg. Now that he made it through hours of surgery we would wait to see if and if so, how much he would come back. The surgeon prepared us for days, weeks, even a month before he'd wake up. They gave him double the normal nursing staff and said the next hours would be critical. After a few hours, when his best friend and wife came into the ICU, to everyone's complete surprise, he lifted his hand with a thumbs up. It seems Death had relented, tousled his hair (though he is bald), and with a laugh, shoved him back.