A Country Away.

Apparently I was so focused on
last week's goodbyes,
that I failed to realize how hard it would be
not being with Dad and Mum after I left.

Last Saturday evening,
back in Chicago,
I couldn't get a grip.
And I wasn't really sure why.
I mean yes, I know why.
Dad's sick.
End of story.
But, it took a day or so for me to pinpoint
what was going on underneath the surface.

What I was actually struggling with was not being with Mum and Dad.
I got the very bad news late Monday afternoon, Dec. 19th.
By Tuesday morning, I was in the car on the way to Canada.
So it wasn't until Saturday, January 7th,
when I was away from them,
that it hit me.

This was, in essence,
the first day that I hadn't been with them
since finding out the news.

I couldn't just look over and see how dad was doing.
I couldn't hear his voice and know his weariness level.
I couldn't see his skin and instantly know how he was feeling.
I couldn't hear the phone ring,
hoping it was the oncologist's office.
I couldn't gauge Dad's emotions by overhearing
conversations with those that called.
I couldn't see his weakness by the way
he got up out of his chair and walked.

All of a sudden,
I was out of the loop.

And that's really not a fun feeling.
At all.
Saturday night I sunk into an unnerving sadness
at the miles between us.
A country away.
Sort of felt sorry for myself,
as if that does any good.

We all know it doesn't do one twit of good,
but sometimes it just feels good in the moment
to wallow
a wee little bit.
Yes?

 Meet Snowball, the.BEST.cat.in.all.the.world.
Original name, we know.
She was actually more like a dog.
Loved to be with us.
She'd lick my ears to wake me up in the morning.
She was huge.
And fluffy.
And my favorite pet ever.
Until Coco, that is.
Even now,
one week later,
I just want to see how he's doing for myself.

OH...
And speaking of that other country
- my home and native land -
I do love it so.
I really, really do.
I'm so proud to be Canadian.
Always will be.
But I have one major beef with Canada.
While in theory,
your free healthcare sounds delightful and all.

However,
in reality,
we still don't have an oncologist appointment.
Almost 6 weeks since the initial December 8th diagnosis.

Time is ticking, folks.

Most of the time I'm at peace with this reality.
It's out of my control.
I can't change an entire country's healthcare system.

So this is the downside to free healthcare.
The side most Americans don't have any idea exists.
But if you talk with any Canadian,
they'll tell you the horror stories.
Waiting months to get into a doctor.
A simple problem turning critical because of lost time.
But every so often I get a wee bit irritated
and can't even fathom why we haven't seen the oncologist yet.

It's in those moments that I have to choose.
Trust or frustration?

Today, I choose trust.

"When I am afraid,
I will put my trust in you.
In God,
whose word I praise,
in God I trust;
I shall not be afraid."
Psalm 56:3-4

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