March 2nd at 4:03 pm, my brother had text me, “if you give a shit, our Father is in the hospital”. I did not respond back to my brother. I firmly instructed my son to get his things together as we need to leave now. I called my sons' Grandmother as she would meet us in the hospital parking lot; my son Herbie pulled opened the door as I snuck a last kiss goodbye as I was to confront my worst fears for my Fathers' well-being. I watched the car roll past me then turned my head towards the hospital front entrance up on the incline of the entry driveway. I began to sprint up the incline as I had to find my Father. As I entered the hospital just beyond the sliding glass doors, I hesitated not looking for direction from someone only signs upon the walls. I knew he was in ICU and in room# 202. I searched wall signs with each turn as I would find him faster than anyone else could advise. Through the twisting hallways, I came across the elevator, the door opened, I jutted in with no company to accommodate another selection to a different floor. Upon exit, my eyes twitched constantly to each side of the hallway. I will find him as I raced in anticipation. I saw the grass clippings as they hit the floor from my shoes with each stride and as I was covered with. I had been in the midst of mowing the yard when I heard the news about my Father. I dashed around a corner then down a set of small stairs of the second floor. There, I halted and turned myself towards the right. There the sign was mounted on the wall with words written in a humble green color and showed room numbers, which included room 202. I turned right again and stood in front of a set of doors, the one door of the set was opened even when a sign displayed stated both doors are to be closed at all times. I headed towards the nurses’ station where several employees were seated. The employees sat with comfort and legs crossed along with IPhones in hand as various sounds that came from all around. I saw indicator lights mounted on the ceiling up above each of the rooms in the unit for the nurses to see. There they glowed with the alarms sounding and seemed to intensify. I glanced helplessly at the employees seated at the nurses’ station, not one nurse turn around to give me recognition. My eyes began to follow others in their passage before me, yet no one even twitched, or stopped, or even looked at me nor did any of the employees still seated at the station. I felt so confused, did these employees know something I had not. After all, I am not a nurse or doctor maybe I must be missing something? I turned away from them with the exhaustion of not being noticed. I looked around and saw up on the wall the room numbers, I found room 202. I walked towards the room; I almost felt like I was not meant to be there as no one to directed or led me in. I had no explanation to why or what was going on with my Father. Not one nurse, doctor, or attendant who acknowledged my existence in this unit, it was only until I contacted them. But just before I made myself known as I had no time to waste in bothering those employees. The employees involved in flicking through photos on their IPhones. I knew better as I had called the hospital ahead retrieved my Fathers room number so I did not need them when it came to it. I walked softly into his room. The room became quieter as I passed just beyond the first two empty beds there against the wall, I had seen the third bed. In the bed laid a human being but I could only see a backside, curled up and faced the room wall. Covered up to the waist with a stark white top sheet. The blanket had fallen aside no longer provided any cover of warmth. I knew something was very wrong, I must have had been given the wrong room number as I did not even recognize this person. The patients’ hair erratic and long, I could not see his or her face. The patient's body so thin frequently spasmed as if the soul was playing a tugger war game with their upper body it just could not resist. As I got closer, I heard sounds like groans that were terrifying and felt so cold even though it was so hard to hear. As if this patient wanted to scream out but could not and no words of clarity. I did not comprehend anything. Before I spoke out, I saw beyond worn yellow socks sickly discolored, frail legs that were exposed to the cold of the air. I touched just above the patients’ leg to see as if this was really my Father but still I could not tell. I only knew this patient felt terribly cold to the touch of my fingertips. I kept thinking this must be an elderly woman then thought God does not one person or employee see that she is freezing??? I turned and walked out of the room up to the station to find myself standing still and waited, as I tried to gain eye contact with one of how many employees seated with anyone who walked around the nurses’ desk. Could and would one notice me see my need for an answer? I waited then finally, I spoke up with a trembled voice and said, “I am here for my Father”, a pause, again, I said with more intensity and louder, “I am here for my Father, his name is James Kadien!" With no rush or urgency only one employee seated without acknowledging my distraught face and heartfelt burning need to find my Father, said with a numb and unconcerned voice, yeah try room 202. I wanted to say something more but that staff member was of no concern to me now; it was to find my Father. Again, I went back into room 202 and reached the 3rd bed, I stood there. I had not seen my Father in over a year. The year laps happened because I walked away from him as he was not able to take my help in hand. My Father was and is the one to always grab my hand and lead me to stand up, taught me to fight for what is right, and take the stance when he was sober. He had to be there before me always but not today, today it was my time. I called out for him, “Dad, I am here”. I called out again because he had not responded; my Father turned over with the pain he carried as he groaned as his back hit the mattress. His arms curled and his fingers awkwardly positioned as if he had a crippling ailment. He had not shaven in a long while. The face I could barely look to held a heavily weighted lines riddled with agony. Eyelids soaked and dragged and around them sheltered by a darkness. His eyes hardly opened with my presence near. I leaned over the bed side rail and gripped the sidebar with both of hands firmly and said, “Dad, I really missed you...but I am here now”. He slowly pulled his legs up in towards his chest as his bony knees hit the bed rail which held me up now as my knees hurt and struggled to keep me. He grabbed with his right hand and tried to grasp a hold of the bedside rail, afraid, I let go. He groaned louder and more horrifyingly began to yell. I saw the defined lines of darkness rippled his face even more as yell morphed into screams that poured out. I backed away further, I could not do a damn thing for him.I kept far as I tilled my head down and cried into my hands. I did not know what to do. The screams went on for a time but then became weaker in tone. No one from the outside came into the room. I stood in place Father looked up at me and the room became so quiet. I heard his voice; he began to say over and over, that he wanted to just go to sleep. I felt so nauseated to see him like this but somehow, I knew my Father existed somewhere within so I moved closer in towards him and did what I could not before, I looked with widening eyes directly into his. His eyes were pitch black and the pain written hit ever emotion of helplessness in me. There an evil of no purity and so much hate as if to tell me go away; the place where he went right through me. I never felt the magnitude of agony for anyone before as I had in that moment. I had no choice, he is my Father. I spoke into his ear and said, “Dad, I am here”. I had no idea this was only the beginning for us with 26 days in ICU, total of 34 days hospitalized.
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