Thursday, June 18, 2009

Father's Day

Gosh, it's already upon us! Happy Father's Day, Deni, my wonderful hubby, father of our duplicate daughters. I am remembering what an involved daddy you were when the girls were little, always willing to get up in the middle of the night, changing every sort of diaper they presented, teaching them how to play tic-tac-toe at the age of two-and-a-half, allowing them to put your hair in little ponytails (not just one or two, but a whole head-full!), helping them with their math homework, teaching them how to swing a hammer. So much of you are in them.

My own father passed away 26 years ago come the 18th of July, cancer, first of the throat then it spread to his lungs. It was difficult for an old 1st Sargent to lose his voice, yet he was humbled by this and rose to the occasion. I was blessed to be able to come home and fill in to help my mother and brother out with the foster boys while he recovered from his first surgery at Letterman Hospital in San Francisco. During his first hospital pass home, I was amazed at his new outlook on life. Instead of being depressed and withdrawn he was light on his feet and so happy to be alive! He was anxious to get back to living his hectic life, what a man. At this point, I thought there wasn't anything he couldn't overcome.

There wasn't much my father could not do for himself, which always made it difficult to surprise him on Father's Day and other holidays. So I was thankful to be able to sew him a variety of stoma covers (to cover the opening in his throat when he was out and about...he didn't want to startle anyone). It is something that sounds like nothing, but it brought him much delight.

My dad was nearing his 5th year of remission when cancer was discovered in his lungs. After the removal of one lung he was never the same. It was a tough surgery, even for an old dog-faced soldier like him. He'd had enough and went home to be with the Lord, surrounded by my mother, my sister Martha and her husband Larry. They sang hymns and prayed, and then my mom finally let him go.

When all is said and done, if I have been loved and respected half as much as my father, then I will have lived a full and honorable life. Happy Father's Day!