Almost five years ago, on November 26th, 2013, my Dad had a heart attack at the age of 54. I’ve written about that day before. In the days that followed, as my Dad came home and began to recover, I remember Googling the name of the cardiologist that took care of him, that fixed his heart. I thought about writing him a thank you note, “thanks for saving my Dad.” When I didn’t find a definitive result fast enough, I let the idea of a letter slip, but never my gratitude.
Today, that same doctor took a camera and went back in to take another look at my dad’s heart. Today, I decided it’s never too late for a note of thanks.
Dear Dr. T,
This morning my Dad’s life once again rest in your hands. You went into his heart with a camera, looking for signs of trouble. I wasn’t at the hospital but I was glued to my phone, waiting for news from my mom and brother. Tears spilled over right into the pumpkin muffins I was busying myself making when my brother sent a picture of my Dad being wheeled back for the procedure.
I watched the minutes pass, thinking about your instruments working within my Dad’s body. Praying every second that he’d make it out ok, that you’d be able to fix any damage you might find.
Just last night, I insisted my Dad stop by my house after a weekend in his favorite place in the world, his beach house in Maine. I needed to hug him, to feel his arms wrapped around me and to whisper into his chest, “just be ok.”
I once again cried when my brother finally sent a message, “He’s done. He’s good.”
I responded with, “What did they say?” Needing to know the details.
Knowing I’d need to hear it all for myself, my brother sent a video of you sharing news with my Mom. I watched a video of my Dad’s heart pumping on a TV screen as you declared, “Look at the thing. It’s perfect.” I didn’t have to see your face to feel your passion for your work, it rang out in your voice. So did your care for my Dad. I know I don’t have to tell you that my Dad’s heart is not just any old heart-something tells me that you don’t take your work or the lives placed into your hands lightly.
Thank you for taking such good care of my Dad.