17. November 2004 · Comments Off on Happy Birthday, Daddy! · Categories: General, Home Front

Cross-posted from my personal blog….

My favorite thing to do on the morning of Nov 16 each year is to call my dad and sing happy birthday to him. 🙂

Me and Dad, Dec 2003

Today was no exception. I sent him flowers, too – a nice autumn bouquet to brighten up his day. They arrived shortly before I called him, he said.

He’s 74 today, and it’s only by the grace of God that we have him with us at all. In July of 1976 he had a stroke. Well, it started out as an aneurism, and it gave him a really bad headache. In fact, it was so bad that my mom called the emergency squad to come and get him (she didn’t drive).

Anyway… the squad took him to the hospital, and they determined that it was an aneurism on one of the 2 major blood vessels that we have in the back of our necks, and they said they would need to do surgery and repair it. (He had aneurisms on both of those blood vessels, but only one was causing a problem, so they were going to do that one first).

Later that week they did the surgery. Dad was prepped, anesthetized, and wheeled in to the OR. The surgeon opened up the area where the aneurism was, and no sooner did he expose it than it burst. Because he was right there, he was able to clamp it and minimize the damage. Had it happened when Dad was anywhere else other than right there on the operating table with the aneurism already exposed, he would have died.

People used to tell Mom that it was a shame this had to happen when Dad was on vacation. We understand their point, but disagree with their conclusion.

Yes, it sucks to get seriously ill when you’re on vacation.

However, the vacation was being spent at home, working on our new house. We had built it the previous summer, and to save money we had the company only put up the shell of the house, and do the electrical/plumbing etc., things that had to be done by certified folks, and pass inspection. We were doing the finishing work ourselves. Mom and Dad, with friends and family, put on the vinyl siding, installed the shingles on the roof, put up the drywall, laid the hardwood floors, etc. So Dad was using his vacation time to do that kind of stuff.

On top of that…..

Dad drove an 18-wheeler around a 7-state area. Had he been at work, driving a tractor-trailer on the highway when that aneurism burst, not only would it have killed him, but who knows what other damage might have been done?

So all things considered, it was a blessing that he got sick while on vacation.

They repaired the other aneurism in Oct 1976, and Dad has been going strong ever since. It took him awhile to get back up to a functional level, and he *is* handicapped, but he can take care of himself, and up until this past summer he was mowing lawns for a bunch of elderly folks in his town. He finally decided that he’s allowed to retire, so he’s not going to do that anymore.

I saw him a couple weeks ago, and he’s looking good. I wish I could have been there today to give him a hug for his birthday, but I called, and his card’s in the mail, and his flowers are there, so those will have to act as his hugs, for me.

I love him more than I know how to express in words, but I’m sure that he knows that.

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