On this Father’s Day, I honor my father, a man of great strength and wisdom, who has left us a godly legacy of firm conviction and principle, hard work ethic and generosity. I am so blessed to be his daughter.
Daddy, a strong, healthy, hard-working man in his early sixties had a massive heart attack the morning before we lost everything in a tornado that evening. The trauma of it all was overshadowed by the life-hurling events of the evening, but his near-death experience, with Mom and me beside him, was probably more traumatic, a moment cruelly burned in my memory.
Driving him to the hospital, watching him squirm with pain, then leaning forward, almost limp by the time we arrived, screaming at mom to drive faster…this couldn’t be happening.
He said goodbye, and I thought I would never see him again. So sudden, so unexpected, and the whole world seemed to spin out of control for a time as my brain tried to wrap around Mom’s crushing grief, how we would do things on the farm without him, how much we would miss his patriarchal wisdom that even my husband was accustomed to beseeching.
I simply crumbled onto the floor, my body refusing to hold up such astonishing grief.
And then finally, the reality that he was going to live. The sudden surge of relief, gratitude and overwhelming emotion.
More than likely, the day will come again and I will say goodbye. And my heart will break. But knowing this life isn’t the end and that I’ve been privileged to have him this long is a gift.
Taking our family for granted is so, so easy. As I reflect, writing this post, I will purpose to live and love more intentionally.
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