This morning I woke up at 4:30 AM and headed to South Jordan for our annual 5K. I picked up Amanda and some coffee on the way there and my car was packed with bananas, oranges, water and ice. The day was starting out eerily similar to last year.
Thankfully, there were a few things that went differently this year. The race went off without a hitch and I didn't have to stand on a street corner directing confused runners. Last year I stood on the corner of 114th South and Riverfront Parkway instructing runners to go all the way around the light post and down the road to the finish line. It was while I was standing there that I got a text from my brother-in-law saying that they had taken my dad to the hospital in Vernal and it wasn't looking good.
I will never forget that moment. I knew right then that nothing would ever be the same and the road ahead looked very grim. The rest of the day is a blur. I left the 5k and drove to my apartment. I could barely breathe or see through my tears but I made it. While I was waiting for life flight to land at the U I cleaned my apartment and ended up breaking a picture sandstone my dad had given me just a couple months earlier.
Family came and met us at the hospital. Then it was a lot of agonizing and waiting while the doctors worked to stabilize him. And when we were finally able to go into the ICU to see him, it was horrifying. That room and that hallway on the 4th floor at the University of Utah Medical Center still haunt my dreams. But when he woke up, he had quite an experience to share. One that changed my life forever.
We held our annual 5k a bit earlier this year so it won't be exactly a year later for a couple more weeks. But the emotions I felt today are just as harsh and overwhelming as they were then. And they aren't backing off. It's going to be a rough ride for a while... again. I'm doing all I can to "hang in there" just like my dad taught me.