Heeeeer’s Daddy! Vol 39
Tomorrow my dad will have open heart surgery. He’s 83 and in pretty good health. We have a really good doc doing the work. Last week dad went in for tests and consultation to make sure the docs (and he) knew what to expect. As dad tells it…it was 4 long hours of what to expect…with take home materials and home work. As I write this tonight from my folks house, dad is scrubbing with disinfectant and following a lengthy scouring protocol that would put most clean freaks to shame. Anyway…having gone through a couple of big surgeries myself, all that knowledge can either comfort you…like “dude this is all under control”…or…well…not. I guess that depends on your mental outlook…or how much Xanax you’ve taken before the consult….don’t laugh…some of us get REALLY nervous! Dad however, seems to be taking all this in stride. He is one of the most stoic men I know, and takes a lot on himself so that his family won’t worry as much. (yea…yea…I KNOW worry is a sin…)
Mom and dad are at the age when their yesterdays are a lot deeper well then their tomorrows…at least if we are talking about them as earthlings. Our conversations have a lot more periods of reflection and shared memories then plans for tomorrow. Tonight while I was down in the basement dad was showing me tools set aside for my brother….and I’ll load up a drill press courtesy of dad for a small wood shop I’m dreaming about.
Tonight dad and I had a frank conversation about what would happen if he didn’t make it through the surgery. As uncomfortable as that was…it was another indication that dad knows the farther he gets from his birth…the closer he gets to heaven. Our earth suits will fall off one day in death. And as a former pastor used to say…no one ever died of good health. Our bodies groan to be changed as Paul tells us. While I know that to be true…I’m praying that we have mom and dad around many more years.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m praying that the docs do their job flawlessly and that after the 6 hour surgery dad wakes up in ICU and after a few days comes home and resumes life with all of us. That’s the way I’m praying. But after praying those same things for Lori just three years ago…the Lord decided to take her home anyway. Frankly I’m still trying to deal with the pain of that loss for myself and for my kids. I know that the God who loves me enough to send his only son to die on a cross for me…can love and carry me and my family through any pain or loss.
When I was young I used to wonder why mom would want me to spend time with my grandfather when he would occasionally come to visit. As a teenager I just didn’t have much in common with him and because I only saw him infrequently…it was a challenge for me to step out of my daily activity to honor my mom that way by getting to know her dad. I didn’t do it well. I didn’t have the perspective my mom did…so I didn’t have the relationship with him that she would have liked. I feel bad about that now…but then…I just couldn’t be bothered. Like most teens…Life was all about me.
Now, when my parents come to visit it’s rare that all the kids are home . And when they are, it’s difficult for them to step out of their lives to spend time with my folks…(even though they do a much better job than I did when I was their age.) I think maybe it’s because they have already experienced the loss of that relationship with their mom dying so young…while Brian and I have had the privilege of our parents love and support all our lives and are looking forward to it for as long as God gives them breath.
I wrote a little devotional not too long ago with the idea that we should love while we can, because you just can’t forever. That’s true. But today I’m writing to encourage you to “Love because you should” That might be splitting hairs…but one thought is based on understanding that time is short with the ones we love. Loving “because you should” is more about our responsibility and marching orders as believers. Christ said that the world will know we are his followers by the way we love one-another. He wants us to love as He loved us. Wow…
How’s your love life?
John 13:34 – “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another”