In the space of one week, I received a phone call from Africa. It was Dad. The doctor had told him he had a major issue concerning his heart, and he needed to see a cardiologist yesterday. Dad had things to do. He didn’t have time for matters of the heart – and I mean physical matters. He had plans. He was on his way to a wine auction, to introduce his latest accomplished dream. He was on his way to sell his historic wine legacy. To this day, we thank the Lord for the opportunity he gave Dad to do get through that weekend. When he returned home he met with a cardiologist left in disbelief that Dad had walked through the door on his own two feet, and not on a stretcher fighting for his life. Heart attack? No, Dad didn’t have time for that. A day later, I received another phone call. It was Mom. There was nothing they could do for Dad. It was only a matter of time now. In a matter of days, the 5 Vehorns had reunited from across an ocean and met in a glass room in Cardiac ICU. We gathered around our Dad, our leader, our pillar – helpless in a hospital bed – and we waited. We cried in the arms of one another. We prayed. We looked strong as a family, as one. We fell apart in corridors. We laughed ourselves to tears in waiting rooms. We laughed until our bellies ached sharing stories from the past, and as Dad led a comedy show from the very bed that would take him into an OR to receive a miraculous heart procedure. Biding time, waiting for his time. Not his style, he walked out of the hospital – on his own two feet – 2 days later. It was emotional whirlwind that brought our family together in a way we are now grateful for.
The moment you realize you are on the verge of losing someone you love with all of your heart, and then suddenly you have been given more time. That’s when you wake up.