It was one of those messages that you hope you'll never receive.
The kind that immediately accelerate your heart rate and cause you to sweat.
The kind where you go numb, process the information on the other end of the line, and try to "be strong."
I read the text messages then saw I had missed 5 calls from my brother.
"Call me asap."
"Pray for dad."
I was at the Eugene Emerald's baseball game and didn't hear my phone ring. I climbed up to the top of the stands where it was a bit quieter and called my brother.
I was anxious and fearful as he calmly, collectedly, and maturely relayed the information that my dad was feeling ill, showed signs of a heart attack, and was probably going to the hospital... in St. Louis, Missouri.
Seated behind home plate at the Em's stadium, my friends and I immediately bowed our heads to pray.
I returned home, plugged in my Christmas lights, set my iTunes to Jill Phillips, and curled up in my Mary Chair. It was like clockwork, as though I knew exactly what I needed at that exact moment. That is when the tears started to flow.
I imagined my dad on a hospital gurney, connected to oxygen. I imagined my mom sitting beside him, holding his hand. I imagined my brother sitting by the phone in New York. I imagined my sister trying to figure out how to navigate unfamiliar territory to get to the hospital at 11:30pm. I imagined the conversation I had with my dad just 5 hours prior, as he was helping Chrislyn pick out bedsheets in Target. I imagined a lot of terrible things.
An hour and a half later, I got a relieved phone call that the EKG came back normal and my dad was feeling better. We still don't know what happened. From New York to Oregon, people were praying. I believe God heals.
It's just never been so close to home.