Unsuspecting. That’s about the closest term in my vernacular to the concrete oblivion. Maybe because the latter is dominantly associated with danger, adding bias to meaning, but then again, the adjective: oblivious, is softer on the conscious – you can actually say: “Someone expressed their feelings for me and I was like so oblivious!” Case in point is: it’s not just about danger. However, unsuspecting is still a little bit, what can I say, straightforward. I was just that: unsuspecting. When?
When father collapsed on the couple of stairs in the entrance of our building yesterday afternoon. He’d been awake since dawn, working, and then had a very good breakfast (too good, as I’ll explain later), went to prayers, and then we passed by my sister, where he dosed on the couch while we’re discussing my future life. Yes, my future is a subject heavily discussed these days at our household. My present is frankly uninteresting. We woke him, he had cold apple juice to freshen up, and then very casually we took the elevator and walked down the street in the blistering sun, which we do every week.
Yesterday however, was different. He was quite exhausted. We can say he was unknowingly pushing himself. I also found out he worked the last couple of weekends. So with the sun, the fatigue and sleep deprivation, the minute we found shade, he surrendered to the stairs; sat down, put his head in his hands, cold hands, and kept sweating so hard. I thought this was hypoglycemia, but he told me that it’s his chest. Does it hurt? No. Then what’s the matter? It’s like he can’t find oxygen. Is there pain anywhere? No, just discomfort in the chest area. Two minutes later, he got better. He was able to stand up, go to the elevator, and then up to our place. Needless to say, those two minutes, were longer than a sun’s orbit around the galaxy.
The truth is, father’s been having lighter versions of those episodes lately. The doctors weren’t really concerned or surprised, since his heart is weak, and they always stress on the fact that he should consume enough water, sleep well, be careful with physical effort, his meals, and what I came to know after the last call with one of them, even mental effort should be spent with caution. I told him to stop working and get some rest, before we go to the doctor (which is scheduled for tonight, isA). Yesterday night, after another meal, he was feeling a bit weak again, and then decided to take an emergency pill that was prescribed for what is called: recurrent angina – typically taken after physical effort, a big meal, or too much general exhaustion. He came to my room and told me that the pill restored him completely, and was happy. I told him that he should still get some rest, and that he shouldn’t push himself further.
“It’s like I ran 10 miles”, was what I told my friend when I excused myself from a planned hangout. I was unsuspecting. Those three minutes, walking down the street, besides my dad, my mind was preoccupied with our conversation, about me, my life, my future wife, my plans and what not. I’m usually very alert around my father, but then my health failed me and I decided I should be more relaxed, and that’s exactly how I’ve been lately. Let me give you an example. I spent six months, yes, six entire months, tracking my dad’s phone on a map to know where he is on all his errands, even the ones in our neighborhood. I could be in a conference with someone in Europe, and when the map doesn’t refresh, or tell me that his location can’t be found, I either leave the room, become too distracted, or excuse myself to make an important phone call, and then I call him, to find that he’s well, on his desk, or in the car on his way home. I stopped doing that three weeks ago, and decided to throw that mountain weight of worry, in God’s hands, and so I was unsuspecting when dad suddenly told me: “I can’t stand, I have to sit down on the stairs”. Oh my God, what? Why?
When you suddenly run 10 miles you’ll collapse in bed for the rest of the weekend. Your books will stay unfinished, your thoughts will stay undone, your plans will become unreasonable, your quest for comfort, happiness or stability, becomes practically cute compared to what’s just been thrust on the top of your weak shoulders. This time I’m trying to battle all of this away, I’m trying so hard to leave it all in His hands, to be careful with my nerves, my stomach, and chest. I try very hard to be cool around dad himself, so that I won’t add to his stressed being. And while I try so hard, I keep thinking about that future of mine: all of this doesn’t mean I should stop existing.
All of this doesn’t mean I should stop looking for her, does it?
Will you pray so hard for me and my father? I need a good thing to happen to me while I’m unsuspecting, you know? Maybe it’ll compensate for this.