For the past four days, I’ve sat in this uncomfortable chair trying to keep my mind from wandering into negative thoughts. Watching others in this room hugging, crying, sitting somberly while saying silent prayers has been difficult to bear.
My only consolation while sitting in the Intensive Care Unit’s waiting room has been that my father, although in ICU and in serious condition, is not in as bad of shape as the family members of the other waiting room inhabitants.
Happy Father’s Day?
As I write this, it is Father’s Day Eve of 2014. Normally I would spend Father’s Day afternoon with my wife and daughters, enjoying the blessings of my family. Instead, I will be sitting in this chair or at my father’s bedside, praying for his return to health.
As I think of the meaning of Father’s Day, I can’t help but contemplate what my father has meant to my life. He, and my mother, have been wonderful, loving parents and deserve to be revered as such.
We didn’t have much growing up. At times, my dad worked two jobs, burning the candle at both ends. For most of my life, dad worked third shift. He left for work close to my bedtime and got back home by 8 a.m.
Although he needed to sleep during the day, he rarely missed one of our school or extracurricular events. He sacrificed so much to be present with my mom, sister and me.
My dad taught me to fish, throw a baseball, do crossword puzzles. He was my Boy Scout leader and Boy Scouts just wasn’t fun once he surrendered that duty to someone else.
Dad instilled in me what it means to be a good husband and a good father. He demonstrated being a hard worker and a loyal friend. He was a tremendous role model.
On this Father’s Day, I respect how no one could question his work ethic and his desire to provide for his family. He was my hero growing up. He taught me so much that has impacted my life and the way I approach life.
Dad never wanted to bother anyone with his troubles. Like everyone, he had struggles, but he kept them to himself. Instead, every day he helped someone with his/her struggles.
He would stop on the road and help someone change a tire. He would help a friend of a friend of a friend move furniture. He would do anything to help someone else. Today, he’s the same way. He will continue when he gets out of this hospital and back to normal. That’s just who he is.
On this Father’s Day, I remember why I decided on a white collar career. Dad worked so hard and did so much for the family that he was always tired or physically hurting. It was never bad enough to keep him from being present with us. The toll his work physically took on him made me realize that I would not work in a blue collar career.
Even while he struggles to stay awake in his uncomfortable hospital bed, he is focused on others. He doesn’t want me to stay here with him all day because he wants me to be with my wife and daughters.
Dad can barely hold his head up but he asked to call my mother at least three times today to see how she was doing because she was at home not feeling well. His concern and care for others is one of his most noticeable and positive traits.
Be thankful today
If you are lucky enough to still be able to see your father and mother, tell them both how much they mean to you. Show them how thankful you are for the love they showed you.
I’ve learned so much through this ordeal. I’ve learned my dad means more to me than I thought. Although I see him and my mother frequently, I have taken them for granted. Shame on me.
My parents may have their attributes that sometimes drive me crazy but don’t we all? We all have idiosyncracies that bother others. Those traits don’t keep our family from loving us. They just make us unique.
Be thankful today for your parents. Treasure the memories you have of them and be thankful if you get to make future memories with them. I definitely treasure the memories of my father and look forward to making more. Hopefully you do too.