“The major block to compassion is the judgment in our minds. Judgment is the mind’s primary tool of separation.” ~David R. Hamilton
On the evening of October 28, 2014, the phone rang. When I heard my stepmother’s voice, immediately, I thought, “This can’t be good.”
Last I had heard, my father was resting comfortably after routine surgery earlier that day. Now it was past midnight in North Carolina.
“Jill,” my stepmother implored, “please talk to the nurses. I have no idea what they are trying to tell me.” Sometimes we cannot listen to what we do not want to hear.
The nurse came on the phone and confirmed my worst fears. My father had suddenly become septic and was quickly heading into multiple organ failure.
In her “I’m-trying-to-tell-a-complete-stranger-her-father-is-dying-in-the-nicest-way-possible” kind of voice, the nurse told me I might want to make plans to get out there as soon as possible; now would be good.
I booked the first available flight. Sleepless and terrified, I boarded the plane. After settling into my seat, a lifetime of Dad memories raced through my mind. A lump in my throat began to rise and swell at the thought of seeing my father, helpless and frail, making his way from this world to the next.