For my Father

Father’s Day is a much more comfortable day to me than Mother’s Day.  I am happy and grateful to celebrate my father, who I find to be one of the most admirable humans that I have ever met.  Truly, he’s one of the great ones.  He’s simple, kind, soft-hearted, honest, loyal and is always trying to help.  Yes, it could be that as his daughter I am always looking at him through “best dad ever” goggles, but I do feel that I have enough insight to see his flaws.  However, his great qualities far far outweigh them.

One of my most special memories of my father is from a bitter sweet time.  It was when I was 19 years old and my father, who was only 44 years old at the time, had a minor heart attack after he went out for a jog on a hot summer’s day.  My mother took him to the hospital and they discovered that he had several blockages in his heart, and that he needed to have five bi-pass surgery.

That was a pretty terrifying time for all of us, including my father, and I felt so sorry for him while he had to lie in a hospital bed for several days waiting for his surgery. I couldn’t imagine what he must be thinking or feeling.  He was trying to play it cool but I knew that he was worried inside.  So I decided to bring him my first and only novella that I had just finished writing.  It was about 100 pages long.  I thought he could maybe read the first chapter or two to keep his mind occupied before his operation.

On the day of the surgery, my mother asked me if I wanted to go with her and my grandmother to the ICU to see him when he came out.  I was scared, but I said “Yes.”  Thankfully, everything had gone well and the surgeon came into the waiting room to tell us that we could go in.  As we entered the room I was so surprised to find my father all swollen-looking and yellowish with a big tube down his throat.  We stood around his bed, me on the right side and my mother and grandmother on the left.  He opened his eyes and when he saw us he started making all kinds of  groaning noises, motioning for the nurse to take the tube out of his mouth because he couldn’t talk.  She came over and removed it and this is what my father did…

He looked at my mother and said, “Sorry Bev.”

Then he looked at the nurse and said, “I love you.”

Then he looked at me and said, “Danielle I finished reading your book!  It was so good!! I wanted to tell you that I loved it!”

That’s what my father was thinking about upon the completion of his open heart surgery.  He was thinking about apologizing to my mother before thanking the nurse who took the tube out of his throat.  And he was thinking about my book, and how much he wanted to tell me that he loved it.  I was so  so deeply touched by him that day.  I cried all over his cheeks,  kissing him and telling him how much I loved him.  And even now tears are welling up in my eyes as I remember that moment.

It’s such a pure, untainted and grateful love that I have for him.  My father is good down to his bones.  He is extremely generous.  If he were to receive $500, he’d try to give me half.  He’s always been that way.  And he’s always trusted me.   In all the choices I’ve made, he’s supported me and encouraged me.  Whether he agrees or disagrees, he always trusts and supports as his ultimate decision, because I am his daughter and he feels that is what’s most important.  And that love and support has meant so much to me, and healed me in so many ways.

My father, I love you.   Your goodness has had a profound impact on the direction of my life.   You are my hero and my friend.  You are so precious to me.  Thank you for everything ~