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!