It was four years ago tomorrow we got the news “Our Father has Terminal Lung Cancer’. The Doctor said…”We will ‘call it’ stage 3B”…….and he only had a few months to live….like about three.
I can’t express to you how devastating this news was for us….all of us. First of all, we were terribly confused. If anyone could NOT get cancer it would have been our father…….he never smoked….he ate right….he exercised and did all the things right for a body you are suppose to do.
When we heard this news……for me…..it was like being slammed in the face with a bat. I stood there in the dark…….. stunned…… not knowing what was coming next. I felt like I was caught in head lights …… unable to move when the trucks came to plow over me ……and over…..and over…….. and over again.
That night, my father took each one of us alone …….He promised he would fight this thing and he loved us and we each meant the world to him…….and he didn’t know what he would have done without us in his life. He thanked us for giving him courage and he told us what he admired most about us. He told us all how special we are to him and again how much he loves us……….it all came so naturally for him: Streight from his heart. Hearing these words and just knowing how he feels about us is such an incredible gift, for all of us…..a gift that can never be bought. He made us all feel like we where the one that he loved the most……just like he always has.
Have you ever known anyone who makes you feel like you are their favorite person, ever? My father has this wonderful gift of sharing his time…….and making anyone around him feel like he is there for them. I don’t even think he knows he has this gift……….but, we know…….and so do the people that are drawn to him.
He is special.
So, on this father’s day and my birthday……..I can’t tell you how very special it is to share this day with him. and I am SO Thankful God has given us four more years……..and all I ((WE)) will ask of Him is 400 more.
There are so many warm thoughts and memories I cherish of him dancing, singing, playing and just taking time with me that I couldn’t possibly put them all down. But, the one memory that stands out the most in my mind ((today)) is the one that I think will tell you what kind of man my father is….the INTERGRITY he possesses. To me this story shows his true character ……
I was about 16. I had a speeding ticket I had to go to traffic court for and he went along with me…… to help me fight the fine. As we waited in the court room there was a young man standing in front of the judge who was in trouble for something pretty minor…… I can’t even remember what it was now. The young man was visibly shaking…… the judge asked him some questions and then charged him a fine that he could not pay. The judge then gave this young guy jail time because he had NO money………
When my father heard this, he jumped up from his seat…. and said, “What? You’re sending this young kid to jail because he is down on his luck?” The judge asked, “Who are you?” And then she asked the kid, “Do you know this man?” He said, “No”….
My father was told to sit down. He told the court he would not……..he said he couldn’t sit there and listen to the judge send this young man to jail for something so minor and asked how much he owed the court. He also asked if the fine was paid would the young man be free to go. ((I can’t remember the price of the fine now, but, I remember the shaking kid….. I know he was all alone…….and I know he couldn’t believe what he was hearing….)) I remember my father approaching the judge and asking if he could stand with this young man and represent him…..the kid told my father he could not repay him and my father said he didn’t want the money back. I remember my father saying, “I don’t care about the money….I have it and I want to pay your fine. I just don’t see this happening.” He told this kid he wanted him to get into school and make something out of himself and give “it” back to someone else….. when he could.
Now that I think of it……..he was paying it forward…….. way before it was popular.
Now that I am older and things have changed (like him having cancer now) I still find myself in awe over the things he has accomplished…… over the things that he has done…… over the time he gives to each one of us, even when he is sick and does not feel like it, he still gives to us.
My father has a faith that is untouchable:
He does what is asked of him and more.
He carries on.
He has fulfilled his promises to his family 10 – fold and still he carries on and moves forward.
Now, four years later, our father is still planning his next move. He is planning to build apartments. He is planning on the fall planting of the muscadines. He is planning to go to Europe for his 60th wedding anniversary in four more years. He is planning on meeting his 2nd great grandchild in November.
No one knows what their future holds. No one knows what will happen to the people they love or themselves. No one knows what tomorrow will bring……..but, I think we should all hold on to the FAITH my father has in his tomorrows.
It seems to me, my father’s faith is carrying us all through this journey we are on.