This past Tuesday morning at 8:00 I received a normal text message from my older brother " Call me when you get a minute". I was headed into the bagel shop to pick up breakfast for myself and a couple of co-workers so I called him when I got back in the car. Me..."hey, what's up?" Him...."just wanted to let you know dad had a little heart attack this morning about 4:00, he is at the Crestview Hospital and they are transporting him to Ft. Walton Beach". Me........"Is he O.K?" Him....."yea, they are going to do the angioplasty baloon thing when they get him there.... hey; someone is walking up to me now I will call you back". He hung up. Wait a minute, I'm not through asking questions and I've not even begun to fuss at you for not calling sooner. So, I went to the office and did what had to be done. Called my husband and kids and took off to Ft. Walton. By the time I got there they had already performed the angioplasty and Daddy was in recovery. The Dr. put in two stents. He was resting and told me he was fine. Shortly after, Josh my oldest son came in and we sat there with him for most of the day. Daddy went home on Thursday and is doing very well.
What I'm left with is how peaceful I was during Jeff's phone call, my drive to the office, my drive to Ft. Walton and in the days following daddy's procedure. I've been a little stressed out lately about some things but in this particular situation I was completely and totally at peace. I just felt in my soul that he was okay and that he was going to be okay. He assures me that he feels much better, that he is going to change his diet and exercise. Good news! Daddy turns 70 this August and is in remarkably good health considering.
Like all of us, I'm sure my daddy has things that he wishes he could go back and do over. Unfortunately, none of us get that opportunity. He and I haven't always been as close as we have become in the years since I became an adult. I never considered myself a daddy's girl. Always preferring my mama in times of crises and tragedy and thinking I couldn't be both a mama's girl and a daddy's girl. Daddy has been a model grandfather to his five grandsons since the oldest was born twenty three years ago. He has plans to travel to New Mexico later this month to spend time with his yongest grandson, one year old Lucas. Until my sister-in-law, Geri lost her battle to cancer in December 2009, my dad was her primary care giver. He made numerous trips taking her back and forth to MD Anderson in Texas. He spent hours with her listening to her fears, dreams and hopes as she battled melanoma. He slept in hospital chairs, held her head while she vomited, talked to doctors about scary words that they didn't understand and became her voice in the "business of all things cancer." He loved her because my brother loved her but he also loved her for the person she was. He took care of her because my brother needed him too, and my nephew needed his momma to be here as long as possible. But he also took care of her because he is a good man.
So maybe that is why I was so at peace. I knew that God wasn't finished with him yet. He still has a lot to teach his grandsons. Some of it silly and hilarious. Some of it serious and sound. But mostly about being male and being compassionate and that the two can and should go together. Whatever the reason. I'm glad God only gave him a wake up call and didn't take him home because after all I'm his only girl, and after 45 years I kinda like being daddy's girl.
I love you daddy and I'm glad you are still here!