COUNTDOWN: 12 days until Father’s Day…
Nothing in life is guaranteed. I’d never been more painfully aware of that than more than 10 years ago… when my father was admitted to the hospital.
On the morning of August 26, 2001 at about 6:30am my mother got up and drove my father to the emergency room at Kaiser Hospital in Harbor City. They’d both been up all night because of chest pains my father was experience that just wouldn’t go away. He initially thought it was just heartburn or some other trivial ailment. But once they got to the hospital and ran some tests, the doctor said that the preliminary results indicated that he’d possibly had a mild heart attack.
Now, let me back up and tell you about my father: A then-62 year-old man who still had all of his hair (albeit a bit thin in some places)… was not overweight (or underweight for that matter)… had never (ever) tasted alcohol a day in his life… had never smoked (anything) or done any illicit drugs… and he ate well (cause my mom stuffs him good). In my entire time on this earth I had never (literally) seen him sick… no colds, no flu, no anything.
My sister and I had gone to the hospital to see him that Sunday afternoon as he was about to go to sleep. When we arrived, he seemed to be in good spirits but was exhausted and was still experiencing occasional pain in his chest. He told us not to stay there while he was sleeping and to just come back later, so my sister and I left.
Later that evening I’d gotten a phone call from my brother who said that he and my sister were going to head back to the hospital because my mother had called and was frantic. He said that earlier that evening my father had a full-on heart attack. Thankfully, he was already at the hospital and received immediate treatment. But this incident prompted the medical staff to transfer him to the CCU (Critical Care Unit) and upgrade his condition to critical.
I’d arrived at the hospital a little after 1am and my mother and sister were there and obviously exhausted… I told them I’d stay, and for them to go home. I spent the night at the hospital with my father. We all felt better knowing that someone from the family was there at all times. It was very sobering to hear that my father was afraid to go to sleep that night. Especially since he’d always been the epitome of perfect health.
Still, that was more than 10 years ago and my father’s has had no recurrence of heart disease. For that, I am thankful. I am grateful that I’ve had the pleasure of nearly a dozen more years to wish my dad a Happy Father’s Day in person and let him know how much I appreciate him in my life. Being a father myself, one of the best holiday gifts has simply been my father’s presence. 🙂
However, if you’re still trying to decide what to get that special father figure in YOUR life, my suggestion is Amazon.com. There’s still time get it shipped to him before Father’s Day actually comes and goes. 😉