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This wavy building with all the round windows reminded me of Star Trek and my then fantasy boyfriend James T. Kirk as a child of ages three and four. I’d accompany my dad once a week to the grain elevator at the docks, so he could pick up his paycheck. As we neared our destination, the hospital came into view atop the highest hill in downtown TacoMa (no “coma” here, just an aroma*). A highlight! Several years later, my sister was born there. Further proof she’s from outer space. But, I’ve not had the need to return there since.

Not until this morning, 5 a.m. An unexpected cover of snow threatened the agenda with its icy ways. Washington’s snow-to-non-snow-day ratio leans heavily in favor of non (insert tears), and yet, the Davis family manages a two for two in the snow/surgery tally. Unlikely Combos for $600, Alex.

Yes, this morning at 5 a.m. my dad went in for his heart surgery. Finally. After multiple reschedules. Multiple times spent psyching up the mind and spirit. Multiple times enduring an extended wait.

We entered a room where they eventually have him dress in the obligatory gown to be poked and prodded a bit before further poking and prodding. In a quiet moment, I hear a woman ask, “You’re Eldon Davis, right?” to another patient just across the way. Not the most confidence-building interaction. They’d placed the patients in opposite rooms. Not wanting this to be an indicator of what was to follow, we ended up finding their system of checks and balances reassuring, most thankfully. A variety of staff each made their necessary visit in progressing him ever closer to the main event. Over the course of the next few hours, each asked a series of questions to confirm identity all starting with “Are you Eldon Davis?” Much preferred over the prior encounter where the woman’s phrasing made it sound as though she were simply confirming what she already knew. Wrongly so.

Soon he was whisked off down the hall, and we began receiving hourly updates including the news that he’d zonked out talking about Chinese food (yes, he’s ours). The hours flew by- a saving grace- and soon we were again at his bedside. Dad intact! Hallelujah. A choir sings. He’s in discomfort, but humor endures. Shane says, “Hello, gorgeous,” and my dad, though close-eyed and immobile, retorts, “Hey Sunshine, don’t be an @ss.”

I can breathe again.

*Simpson Kraft pulp mill


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