As I sit in the passengers seat while my Sister drives us to North Carolina, I can’t help but to reflect. I have a lot to be thankful for.
I still have a job that I enjoy, I got into grad school, I am coming into myself more and more each day, and my sister and I have lived together 3 years without killing each other. I’d say that is success. But, I am especially thankful for today because I didn’t know what today would look like earlier this year.
For those close to me you know that my Dad went to the doctor for some testing, and a few hours later my Sister called me saying he needed open heart surgery.
I remember that’s actually all she said before quickly hanging up the phone… “Umm… he needs open heart surgery… I don’t know, Loni, I gotta go. The doctor is here.”
My world instantly turned upside down.
Instead of being hopeful, I immediately thought of worst-case scenario. At 25 I would be without both parents. How am I going to tell my brother (who was studying abroad at the time)? Why is this happening to us again? It really was a huge test of my faith (I think I prayed for the surgeons hands and eyes and judgment more than you, Dad, to be honest. I’m sorry lol).
It became glaringly obvious that as much as I tried to appear as though I had it all figured out, I wasn’t ready to do all of this on my own.
So much so, that even during one of the most challenging times of his life, my Dad once again did more encouraging and comforting of me than I did for him. Which continues to speak volumes about the type of person he is.
There are two moments in particular that I am reminded of the most.
The first is calling him to let him know I was headed to Minnesota. I remember trying to come off very composed, organized, and hopeful, but, clearly, he heard the scared little girl I felt like inside on the other end of the line. He texted me a song that I listened to the whole flight.
The second was just a couple weeks after the surgery, and I planned to go bring flowers to my Mom’s mausoleum before I left home. He chose to suffer through what I can imagine was the most painful 40 min car ride (in both directions) imaginable just so I didn’t have to go there alone. Every single bump in the road made me cringe. But, he did it. Simply because he knows how hard being alone would have been for me.
True love and selflessness, man.
No other words. I just don’t understand why my siblings and I were given the parents we have, but we’re beyond blessed.
For those who have survived my rambling to this point, I’m reflecting because of how ironic today really is. I’m headed to the annual Thanksgiving gathering without my Dad for the first time, as I feared I would months earlier. But, this time, it’s for very different reasons, thank God.
My Dad is fine. I am very thankful.