The last week of February 2020, I got a phone call from my son Mateo. “Dad, have you been following this Corona virus? You better batten down the hatches because this is going to be bad!!!” We talked quite a bit and he got my attention. The next week he called me again and asked if I was going to cancel meeting at church in Greeley, in person. I said I wasn’t sure. He said, “Dad, Google, Apple, and Microsoft all just went totally virtual. Don’t you think they see the bigger picture?” Point made—church cancelled.
We all know what followed. We were all making it up as we were going along. Hoarding toilet paper, staying in our homes for weeks, learning to Zoom. I watched my fairly lengthy “bucket list” reduced to ONE— Don’t Die. I was half joking and half serious. What good is a dream trip to Australia if your ashes are sprinkled on Mt. Blanca?
When the vaccine came I got it the second week it was possible. We wore masks, social distanced, wiped things down, skipped Bronco games and manage to lead a church with no discernible break outs.
This year from Labor Day though the next weekend I had three very special engagements. First in Salt Lake, then Pueblo and finally Casper. Somewhere in the Utah jaunt MK and I got the Delta breakthrough variant virus. By Sunday September 12, after we finished a beautiful
weekend celebrating the 100th anniversary of First Christian in Casper (my great grandfather was the founder), I began to feel weird. I remember thinking, ‘this can’t be Covid’. By Tuesday I was descending into the abyss of the ‘life sucking’ that is a full-on infection. Wednesday morning I was at the ER at Lutheran hospital. “You are Covid positive and very sick”.
For the next 18 days I could barely roll over in my hospital bed. “You have Covid Pneumonia”. I was on O2 for 11 days. One night, as I lay there contemplating my only item on my bucket list—don’t die— God and I had a three —hour talk. I knew I would not die but my fear was permanent lung damage and cognitive diminishment. Well, I am happy to report on day 32– I can breath with the best of us and I am still a Smart A—s.
This final paragraph is an homage to the CNA’s, and RNs who had to do EVERYTHING for me. To an incredible medical team and therapy practitioners who gave me hope and to MK who got a cough but was there every step of the way. I want to thank the hundreds of you who have reached out with CARE and COMPASSION— the words that God gave me at 4 o’clock in that morning.
Onward and Upward,
Mark—GET VACCINATED!!! It will save somebody’s Life!!!