Having been gone from home for a week now I can honestly say that I am quite grateful for the various forms of communication we have these days. I remember so many times (in ancient times) where I wouldn't have been able to talk with Pat while being away, at least not without it being costly. There have been various times in my life where I can look back and say that I sure wish I'd had a cell phone at that time.
One of those times was when my dad was in the hospital. Eight weeks earlier he had suffered a major heart attack. He then had a triple bypass and was recovering. That last week was a bit of a roller coaster ride. Our family had been to Disneyland and the day after we returned dad was back in the hospital. The kids and I headed up several times, and on Sunday was our final trip up for him to have two procedures done on Monday morning. That night we all chatted, had a nice family prayer, and headed to bed. The kids said their 'good-byes' to Grandpa, thinking they would see him again.
On Monday morning we took my dad to the hospital for his procedures. I remember walking with him as they were wheeling into the surgery room. After surgery he came back to his room, groggy and tired. Mom and I headed back home. Later that day my mom said she'd be going back up to the hospital. I didn't want to leave the kids behind again so I had her go without me. She went and spent a few hours there with him. He just wanted to come home; that was all he wanted, to get out of the hospital and stay out! But they insisted he stay overnight. So, he did.
The Dr. went in to see him around 10:30, he was fine, just tired.
The nurse found him in cardiac arrest sometime around midnight. They had no idea how long he'd been that way, so he was put in neuro intensive care. To make a could-be lengthy story short, my dad passed away at 9 AM. Pat was at work, he had an inkling of what was going on, but there was no way I could reach him. And this is where the whole cell phone thing comes into play... he was on the road, I couldn't call him and tell him my dad had passed away, and unbeknownst to me he was heading for the hospital.
By the time he arrived we had left. He walked into the nicu asking for my dad. A nurse told him that my dad had died. He was heartbroken, naturally. A cell phone could have made all the difference. I am grateful for cell phones, that our family can be in touch frequently; for negatives or positives throughout life.