Saturday, March 19, 2011

I Just Want a Hug

Today, along with many members of my family, and friends who have never fasted in their lives, we have gathered together to do a special fast for and on behalf of my father, Jose Sangtiago Velez. I have never believed in the power of a fast more than I do now. I am comforted today as I realize that the Lord does indeed hear our cries and prayers. He will deliver us all.

I've spent this last week in many tears but I know that everything happens for a reason. There are no such things as coincidences. And as hard as it is not to be able to embrace my dad, I know I will in the future. Hopefully, soon. All I want is one good hug.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Because I Need to Get This Out

Sometimes we are faced with trials that seem like more than we can handle. I know that this is not one of those times. That doesn't make what has happened to my dad any easier on both him and my family. Things we've argued over in the past are exactly where they should be. In the past. It is only through things like this that we are able to gain perspective sometimes.

I don't mean to write about things like this as though we're the only people around the world with trials. My heart goes out to the people of Japan and the tsunami that hit them last week. My dad has been working hard in a different direction lately that I now feel may be one of the greatest projects he has ever worked on in his life. He has been making business trips to Peru in order to do some things that may or may not be put on hold under the new circumstances of his physical condition. He was making yet another trip down there last week in order to present his ideas and possibly close on some promising deals. Shortly after having arrived, he suffered a stroke.

While at first, he could not do much with the left side of his body, he is now able to walk around and insisted on taking a shower all by himself today. His speech and memory were foggy at first but seem to be returning to him slowly. He has somehow forgotten his first language which has been somewhat comical in that now it seems his first language is not Spanish anymore. It's English. For the time being at least. I'm amazed at how many prayers and thoughts are coming our way from people all over the world. People across the country and outside the country are being so helpful and encouraging.

I finally spoke with him for the first time since his stroke today. While I was thrilled to hear his voice and that he is well and alive, I must admit I was not prepared to hear how childlike his diction was. He seems to be trapped in different time periods as he doesn't seem to remember my husband or that I'm married and he was shocked when I told him I had three kids. I had to spell out their names because that helped him pronounce things better. He was a little emotional at first because for some reason, he thought that I had died and was overwhelmed with joy to hear my voice. He confuses all of our names but I don't think he means to. My mom and I both believe it is just because his speech is not allowing him to say what he really means to say. His gestures and the way he lights up about certain topics tells me that he hasn't forgotten it all. He remembers more events of the past years than those of the more present ones. He asks, "Who?" a lot when he simply just wants more information.

I want to remain strong so that he doesn't get overwhelmingly emotional when he hears me cry. I wait to let it out after I've hung up or closed down the video windows. What's really hard is not being able to hug him. I grew up the kind of person who thrived off of hugs and kisses and physical touch. Being countries away is not easy and there is nothing I can do about that. But I am hopeful and more prayerful than I have been in a long time. It has truly been a most humbling experience and there are many things to think about and consider as we go about trying to make decisions about how best to help him recover and heal. I love my father tremendously. And whether he understands this post or not, my urgency to write about this experience is strong. We've both made many mistakes and argued about things both big and petty. But none of that matters anymore. I now see this as a blessing. A way to start anew. We still have him here and it is only by the grace of God that we do. And whatever we must learn from this experience, I know he will guide us and teach us line upon line.

Sorry if this has come out all jumbled and disjointed. My mind is on overload and it can't sleep. Now, that I'm done, I think I can sleep. Daddy, I love you. I will post lots of pictures in the next few days and weeks so that you can see your grandkids and hopefully you will be able to remember them soon.

Our little swimmer