I knew I wanted a big post for my 100th Midwestern Gold entry. I knew I wanted something that people could really grab on to and take with them. I figured it would be gimmicky (since that’s the sort of personality I have). I held off because I needed an idea. I never thought the idea would be handed to me, neatly packaged, in a hysterical mess.
This isn’t going to be a fun, gimmicky post.
Farmboy and I have been dating for almost six years. Over that time, his family has become my family, and vice-versa. While out playing with my niece and nephew at the park, I got a phone call from Farmboy.
His dad, who I usually refer to as Bossman, was being admitted into the hospital. Apparently, an achy knee turned out to be a symptom of a blood clot in his leg.
Given my family history, I’m terrified of loss. Losing a parent at age 12 can leave you fairly paranoid. I’m awfully anxious about losing loved ones, and if anything happened to Bossman, it would feel like history repeating itself. And to me, a blood clot seemed horribly close to the heart attack that stole my Daddy from me. I can only really sum up the feelings as “fear.”
Farmboy’s father laid in that hospital bed, yet his family devoted a great chunk of their attention to making sure I was the one put at ease. That sort of feeling sticks with you. I’m sure to them, keeping me fairly calm was a coping mechanism. I eventually settled down over time, and am actually for the most part alright today. Stressed? Yes. This is the second scary experience I’ve had with a father figure this year (my stepfather was in and out of the hospital all winter with something they never could diagnose). I went to work, I continued my business as normally as I could. But, I did spend the day thinking.
One of the big conversations we had last night while we sat around in the hospital room was the fact that farmers are often stubborn; Bossman could have gone in much earlier to have his knee checked out, but it’s easy for a man in their upper-40’s to dismiss aches and pains. There was too much to do and not enough hours in the day to stop and go to the doctor. We talked about close calls local farmers had had that should have killed them, and didn’t. We talked about what needed to be done on the farm, but wouldn’t be right away. We talked about the 4-H crops judging Bossman wouldn’t be doing this weekend because of his ailment. We talked about the peach trees they planted at the farmhouse, and how Farmboy was thoughtful enough to bring the first two ripe peaches to the hospital as an encouragement for his parents.
It was tense. It was terrifying. I know I was a fairly obvious wreck. We talked because silence meant you had a chance to think. We chatted about things that had to be said, but also to maintain the thin veil of casual reaction over the natural fear of the situation.
Scares like this, they make you think.
Bossman could have continued to ignore the knee pain, and continued to do too much. He could have continually stretched himself too thin. He could have pushed that clot to the breaking point and cost himself his life. He could have, but he didn’t. That’s a huge blessing. Now, when I close this computer, I’ll be hopping in the truck with Farmboy to spend the evening at the hospital with his family. We’ll all talk and laugh and enjoy ourselves. We won’t talk about how scared we all were, especially me. We won’t recount the thoughts we had of what could have happened. We will, however, most likely talk about good things. Blessings.