Three Letters….

I’ve held off in writing this for quite some time now. I don’t know how much I will share in the coming months and years, but for now I wanted to share just a very little.

 

Tomorrow will mark 6 months of my dad being diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease). My dad went through about a month of testing and all kinds of doctor’s appointments, but it was confirmed on September 12, 2011, that he does have Lou Gehrig’s Disease. If you’re like I was and not really sure what ALS is, then I’ll save you the Google search and you can read more about ALS here. The news has hit our family hard. Our family has had our share of losses. My dad’s younger brother, Roger, passed away when my dad was a teenager. Roger was only 9 years old when he lost his life to leukemia. My mom has lost both her mother and father and her grandparents. So, the diagnosis of ALS was a very difficult one to confirm….because of what we know my dad has to go through. My dad is MY daddy! He means the world to me!

These last 6 months have been torturous. I’ve had to watch my daddy “retire” early from his years at the Ford Glass Plant back in October. He was honored for his honesty, character, courage and for being a devoted and hard working man on October 21st. He was showered with well wishes, warm thoughts and a powerful gift – all a testimony to the kind of man my daddy is. My daddy and grandfather gave 67 years of service to Ford. My dad and mom put their home that they had custom built years ago on the market to downsize to a condo. We moved them in to their new condo back in January. My mom quit work to stay home with my dad and to help him a few weeks after they moved. They traded in both of their cars and got one new car. And they have now gone down to one cell phone. My dad just stopped driving a few weeks ago. My dad actually fell a few days before they moved and ended up in the ER and had to get stitches in his bottom lip. The doctor told my parents that he would probably be in for more visits due to falls. And there have been several more times where he has fallen, but fortunately, they have not warranted a return trip to the ER. My dad is now walking at a much slower pace and uses a cane. His doctor has put in an order for a wheelchair, so he has been researching those here recently. All of these are things that people have to go through, but we have had to watch my parents go through them in a very short time. And, it breaks my heart!

But, I am very grateful that we have a God that is hearing our prayers and our cries. We are holding tight to the promise that God will “never leave us or forsake us”. I’ve had my dear friends lifting my family and me up in prayer. I’ve had our church family praying for our family. And every day, our family of five prays for my mom and dad.

I am also thankful for time. Time to be together as a family and to love on each other. Time to make some lasting memories. Time to remember the days that have passed and tell funny stories. Time to just be as family….

This weekend was one of those times. Jason spoke at the congregation my parents attend. It was a moment that I will treasure for a lifetime – sitting in church between my dad and mom, worshiping God with my children there with us…

In my eyes there is no finer man and example than MY Daddy!

5 thoughts on “Three Letters….

  1. Connie Mercer

    Sunny – So sorry to hear this about your daddy. My grandfather also had ALS. I was away in college when he was his sickest, so I didn’t see him very much, but it is a hard thing to go through. You have a wonderful attitude and awareness of this passing of time and I know that you will make the most of the time that God will give your family. You are focused on the best things – spending time and sharing love. I will remember to pray for all of you. Love you. Connie Mercer

  2. Sara Clark

    Sunny- thank you for sharing. I know you have had to be strong for your parents and it’s supposed to be the other way around! You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

  3. Shannon

    I will be praying for you guys! The way you describe your dad is so wonderful, and you are so blessed to have a family like that to have grown up in. I am sure your dad is so proud of you and the family you have now. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Patricia Smith

    How very precious and special you are, Sunny!! You always focus on the pain of others and never even mention your own!! What a lovely tribute to your father, and mother, and to what he was and still is to those around him, those who worked with him, even those who probably don’t know him well at all. Reading your post, I felt like I almost knew your father. My dad was in no way even close to the father you had and still have, but I know as his diabetes and congestive heart failure slowly led to one amputation after another, and as he finally became confined to bed and couldn’t even feed himself, it was so difficult to watch…or even think about because he wasn’t a Christian and had abused me badly throughout my childhood and teen years. I wanted a father like you have….and I wish so much that I could even now write something beautiful about my dad as you have done here for your father. You have been given such a gift to cherish that so many women I know wish they had been blessed with. As for me, thank you for sharing all this and letting me know what a true father/daughter relationship can mean to a daughter and accomplish for families to follow. Praying for you on this journey, and thanking God for such a beautiful father example he has shown to all of us. Love all you Bybees!!

  5. Ashleigh

    Love you Sunny, and have been praying for you and your sweet family since I first found out. So glad you are all able to cherish this precious time together.

    Ashleigh

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