I've had a lot on my mind this Father's Day...
This is my dad and me a little less than a year ago before his surgery. I was terrified, and can't begin to imagine how he felt this morning. We celebrated his 56th birthday the night before at a swanky Orlando restaurant as a family. It was one of the best nights I can remember. But on this morning, I knew he was headed into a life changing operation.
He came through the surgery just fine...the doctor even said he had a beautiful heart. No surprise there. This man who taught me to ride my bike, made me blue mickey mouse pancakes, and taught me how to plunder through drawers at the doctor's office loves Jesus and people more than anyone else I know. And I tend to think I know a lot of wonderful Jesus-loving people. He lived it every day - not just on Sundays. When he was wrong, he would get down on one knee, look me in the eye, apologize and tell me how much he loved me. He still listens to me ramble about random things that God lays heavy on my heart, and gives me advice that is better than anything I could get from a book.
The trouble with loving someone so much is the fear that is attached to losing them. A gut wrenching, at times crippling fear. The day came when we almost did lose him. I guess I never blogged about it because I don't like remembering that day. The call came early in the morning a couple of days after his surgery. His lung had collapsed the day of surgery and now he had bilateral pulmonary emboli - blood clots to both lungs. Many times it's instantly fatal...I felt my whole world close in as I was at his bedside when the call came from the radiologist. I tried not to lose it but I did, not entirely because of his diagnosis but because he was holding my hand, breathing, and talking to me. I was in shock.
This became my spot that week - the good ol' green chairs in the ICU waiting room. My sister stayed in the chair next to me until she had to go home. When we would leave to go eat I would claim my spot like this...
I strategically left my Bible open to "thou shalt not steal" :)
My Bible became my best friend that week.
His ICU room had an incredible view...and I said many prayers looking out this window.
God saw fit to leave him here a little longer. Had God taken him that day, I couldn't have been mad about it. I've had more of a father in my 31 years than most people get in a lifetime. He has stored up his treasure in heaven, and sown relationships with my family that will continue to grow long after he's in heaven. Because those relationships are founded on Christ and unconditional love...unless it's football season! ;)
Almost exactly one month later Madeline and I went with him and mom to his check-up.
If there's anything sweeter than a dad and his daughter, it's a Papaw and his granddaughter.
So on this Father's Day, I feel incredibly thankful to still have my sweet Daddy here. I have a better idea of fleeting life can be, and how sweet each day is.
Dad - I know you'll read this. I hope you know how much you're loved. I hope you know that the legacy you live and will one day leave is Christ. I wish I could have been with you today, but you know my heart is with you! I love you...
Happy Father's Day!