Yesterday started with golden sunshine pouring into the hospital room from the east.
Dad was telling me about how "46 years ago today we were both in the hospital. Just like we are today." And what a day of joy that was for him - to see me emerge into the world in the birthing room at St. Elizabeth's nursing home on Malabar Hill in old Bombay!
46 years and we find ourselves back in a hospital room in very different - but no less joyous circumstances. Me rejoicing in another trip around our beautiful local star - 8 light minutes away from us. And now having completed 46 of these circles, the thought that there is an end to the circling does show up more often. For Dad, having gone through cancer surgery and being into his 74th or 75th spin 'round the sun, I see each day as an additional bonus.
One of the verses that we got for Dad is "with long life I will satisfy him, and show him my salvation." (Psalm 91.16). To us this is prophetic both in terms of giving us hope that God has some more time for Dad to live - but also a speaking of God's truth into his life already. Dad has already been satisfied with a long life - and has also been very much shown God's saving acts in so many ways.
Dad prayed for me there in the Bethany hospital room no. 511. I may be looking after him at this point in some ways, but he still is very much a father and what a blessing to get his blessing. Raspy voiced, lying down in bed, holding my hand with his strong grip.
Mum came in a few minutes later - fresh as a peach. A hug and birthday wish from here and then I had to take a shot of the two 47-years-in-love-birds:
Dad continues to make slow and steady steps forward in his recovery. Since the "pain in the shoulder episode" two evenings ago, he has not been ill. He does his little walks and has been upgraded to 1.5 litres orally today. But he is still weak and needs recovery. The prayers of saints at a distance are probably more valuable than too many saints coming to visit, since every visit demands energy from Dad.
Dad should be an honorary Malayali by now, given the numbers of nurses from 'God's own country' who have cared for him so far!
He has a little call button which he religiously presses every hour to remind our busy-as-bees nurses that it is time for another injection of water into the jujenal feeding tube.
We are taking each day at a time. Every morning at around 8 Dr. Stephen troops in and there is a short consultation about the what the next step will be. Today the final abdominal drain was removed so there are not more bags hanging outside - and only the jujenal tube and the common line on his neck giving quick access for fluids and meds when needed.
But back to yesterday. After coming back home at 9 in the morning, I was welcomed by Sheba and the kids with a beautiful birthday breakfast complete with roses and cake and gifts and cards and lots of love (and the birthday song too!). Being a school holiday, all three were at home and I was smothered with love by my darlings.
I had to take the day off since we were not sure how much care Dad would need - and I needed to take a good friend of ours for a psychiatric evaluation. Around noon I popped into the Papaya and drove with my friend and two other church members all the way down to Santa Cruz - and then after a very good time with Dr. Aswani, we drove back just in time to drop Asha off for an early violin class, and read to Enoch and Yohan while we waited... and then we three came back to the local mall and into a fine dining establishment:
At my birthday breakfast, Enoch had given me a voucher for a meal out (with the family too). He still had some birthday money from Feb left - and decided that he was going to treat us all! And so it was decided to redeem his gift a.s.a.p. Mum and Sheba joined us from the hospital and so three generations of Eichers dined out for a change. Sheba had each person share what they were thankful to the Lord about me for - very, very touching.
I am so very grateful for the huge, unpaybackable amount of love I have received over these years. One of the advantages of cancer is that it cuts through a lot of the sloppiness that we surround ourselves with. The last month with all its challenges has also been one of the most peace and joy filled months so far. We are still on the edge - and my tiredness is slowly spilling out - but to have such a beautiful birthday in the midst of the challenges that Dad faces is a beautiful thing.
I ended a lovely day reading to Dad from 'Amazing Grace' by Eric Metaxas - a stirring account of William Wilberforce. It was a blessing to end another day with Dad in the hospital bed next to me.
Till tomorrow, here is a shot of me and my beauty (and also our cutie). Thanks for being with me for at least some portion of the 46 sun-spins so far!