• Jessica McDonald

A Wake Up to Reality

Updated: Apr 12, 2020

January 20, 2020

We never ever know what can happen. Dad didn’t have a seizure for nearly 10 years. He’s been okay, he’s been happy, he’s worked his way through the first one and obtained an amazing life. A career he works hard for, a house, a cottage he’s renovated and revamped but most importantly his family.

Nothing in life will compare to witnessing the two most important men in my life embrace. Hug and cry and speak our biggest fears out loud. Dad could’ve died. We thought he might’ve died. We had to take away from this situation that even though it’s awful and terrifying and there’s so many questions, we are lucky. We are lucky he woke up, we’re lucky he didn’t hurt his head, we’re lucky he didn’t damage his brain and we are lucky we’re all okay and through this we have each other. We have each other to hold and embrace and appreciate over and over again.

He’s our rock. He’s our hero. If anything would happen we would be so lost in this world. He’s okay and so we’re okay. He’s scared, and we’re scared and that’s okay.

In this world men are told that they are not allowed to cry and hug and say that they are scared. Seeing my dad and my brother do this made me weep but made my heart full of the most gratitude I have ever felt in my life. I’m so lucky for this life and I’m so lucky to have them.

The four of us have always known the bond we share is so special and so real. But having this happen makes it all the more real and important to share. There’s nothing I wouldn’t do for those three humans. And there’s nowhere I’d be without them.

Dad’s terrified he’ll never be him again. He’ll lose his personality, he won’t have his sense of humor. But even through the darkness and the sadness and even the drugs he was put on, he can still crack a joke. In his hospital bed when the nurse asks where he is, he says “Well... I’m in an all-inclusive resort in Cancun.” He’s still here and we see him and love him and all we want to do is to protect him. All he wants to do is to protect us, to tell us he’s okay. But what forms a bond even stronger is to be able to tell one another that you’re not. And not being okay together is a new way of loving each other.

On my train ride home, the morning after it happened, I thought to myself I can’t lose them. I can’t lose them ever. But I will someday and that someday is a day that will be harder to live through than anything else imaginable. But right now, I have the honor to walk life with them and so walk it I will, with them by my side. For as long as I possibly can.

Yes, dad having a seizure questions everything. If he can go to the cottage, if he can drive, if he can ever drink again, if he’ll ever laugh again. But I’d take these questions a million times over instead of the question of how will I never see my dad again.

My family is my everything. And so please no matter what walk of life you’re travelling through, no matter who your family is (blood or not) embrace them, love them, tell them your thankful for them. Because we never ever know when we won’t be able to say it again.

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