"Now we're in the hotel room, Daddy," said Beatrice, smiling.
"Yes, Beatrice, you are."
Usually it's me traveling with one of their stuffed animals in two and talking back and forth virtually. But this time the travel beams crossed. Actually the light sabers crossed. Literally. (This I loved, since I had just watched Star Wars episodes 1-3 again while away on my latest work trip.)
Unfortunately the circumstances for this time-continuum swap were stark. My brother-in-law, the Mama's sister's husband, had a massive heart attack last Thursday night, then after a brief emergency diagnosis in the hospital, had immediate surgery -- a quintuple bypass surgery.
Quintuple, as in five. This volleyed back and forth in my head like a molten lava tennis ball all Friday morning as I ran through the woods behind my mothership office in Waltham. No Yoda on my back, though. No, high blood pressure and heart disease is the genetic monkey on my back. Every stride and heart-pumping thump got me one step closer to my girls; each one reminding me of why I need to be here today and tomorrows to come.
Stubborn like my wife and adamant that the healthcare system sucks your soul and pocketbook dry, my brother-in-law initially didn't want to go to the hospital, until ironically my wife helped her sister convince him to go.
And then the Mama, the girls and Nonna packed up and headed to Carson City to help my sister-in-law and family while I headed to the airport to fly home. I got home late Friday night to an empty house, but for good reason.
I miss them terribly, of course. The good news is that he's stable, but will have to be in the hospital for at least a week to ensure there are no complications. I'm glad they're there with him and the family.
May the force be with you, Brother.