Tuesday, July 10, 2007
Please pray for my dad
My dad is an interesting character. His birthday is August 17, 1945. That means in a bit over a month he will be 62 years old. He has 3 daughters and 1 son, ranging in ages from 20-43. He is the youngest child of 8. He was very spoiled growing up and as a result, tends to be a little self-centered, but overall, he is a good hearted man.
My mom met my dad when I was about 4 years old. I don't really remember him ever not being a part of my life. But, it is true. There was a time when he wasn't my dad. My mom and dad met while she was working at a bar/restaurant. My dad was a wild thing, back in the day. But, he saw something in my mom that he was interested in. Most men who have been divorced and living alone would not be interested in dating a lady with a 4 year old child, but that didn't seem to bother him at all. In fact, he adored me and I adored him. I longed to have a father figure in my life. He was up for the challenge. A couple of years later he and my mom married and almost immediately after they married, he adopted me. They divorced 10 years later. When they divorced, that didn't make him any less my dad.
My dad was a cross country truck driver. He would be on the road for 1-2 weeks at a time. Before I was in school and over summer vacation, I would ride along with him. My mom would come along to. I got to see the country when I was very young thanks to him! I remember one time we went to Florida for his "job." We were in Orlando, so we got to go to Disney World. We were supposed to catch a shuttle, but we were running a little late and we missed it. We only had the semi truck and to most, you wouldn't consider going to Disney in a semi, however, my dad thought that was a fantastic idea, so we loaded up and off we went. There were no other semi trucks in the parking lot! I had a blast.
As a trucker, he had many bad habits. The worst of them were smoking and eating a very unhealthy diet. Those bad habits have haunted him for nearly 1/2 of his life. When he was just 38 years old, he had his first massive heart attack. I clearly recall seeing him hooked up to all of the machines. It was a scary time to me. I FINALLY had a dad in my life and here he was, extremely sick. I worried he would die. The doctors didn't promise that he wouldn't. He was in the hospital for what seemed like forever, but was probably a week or two.
Ever since that first heart attack, he has had several more (actually, more than I can remember). His heart is very weak and only functions at some ridiculously low percentage. At one point he was on the heart transplant list, but was taken off because his heart functioned at 1% over the cut off rate. He has had bypass surgery, stints put in (a few times), catheters into his heart, and a defibrillator placed a few years ago.
He spends a bit over 1/2 of the year in Texas, where it is nicer weather so he can get outside and exercise. He is in Michigan for about 5 months each summer. He sees heart specialists in both locations. He went for a routine checkup last week and he was informed that his heart is looking very weak again. His defibrillator is working way too much, meaning it is shocking his heart back into rhythm. He is scheduled for a procedure on Friday. That procedure could lead to surgery on the spot and if it s major enough, he will be have to more surgery in the days to follow.
He is worried and rightly so, I suppose. The past 3 or 4 times he has had heart problems, the doctors have given him less than 40% chance of survival. The percentage gets lower and lower each time. Some how, through God's grace, he always makes it. But I wonder, how many more times will that happen? He cannot be sedated unless it is absolutely necessary as his heart can't handle it. They are planning to sedate him on Friday.
I am sad. Sad to think that this man, who I have been honored to call my dad for 26 years, is so sick. Sad to think that he doesn't have his life right with God. Sad to think that my Lil Bug might not have her Papa Dale around forever. I am just plain sad. I pray that everything will go well on Friday. I pray that he will have a miracle healing. I pray that my dad will be around for another 20-30 more years.
Will you pray for him? Will you pray for my family?
Posted by AJS at 11:55 AM