Last week, I found out that my father was diagnosed with kidney cancer. Like anybody who finds out a loved one has a serious illness, I was shocked, saddened, and worried. After a night of letting the news soak in, the worry and sadness were still there, but overpowering those feelings was a profound sense of gratitude - gratitude for my father's circumstances and gratitude for the father he's been to me:
I'm thankful that my dad is a veteran, who works at a VA Hospital. He was able to receive prompt attention to the pains he was experiencing, without cost.
I'm thankful that my dad waited until I returned from the romantic weekend getaway my husband had been planning all year to break the news to me. In fact, he let me gush about how absolutely wonderful my trip was and said how glad and deserving I was of it before I asked him how he was doing and he told me about the cancer. He didn't want to ruin my special moment.
I'm thankful that my dad was calm on the other end of the phone. It helped calm my own nerves. It wasn't until I researched kidney cancer later that I found out how grim his circumstances could be. Yet, he remains calm, and so I can't help but feel a little calmer as a result.
I'm thankful that my dad's surgery is during the one week my husband has off from work, so that he can watch my children while I spend time with my father in the hospital.
I'm thankful that my dad used to let me and my sister tackle him, while playing football in the snow.
I'm thankful that my dad always attended my Parent-Teacher Conferences and always beamed about how well I was doing in school.
I'm thankful that my dad used to help me study for the many spelling bees I went on to win.
I'm thankful that my dad drove me all over the place when I was interviewing with and touring colleges.
I'm thankful that my dad made a Valentine's Day card for me out of red and pink construction paper and some heart-shaped stickers when I was in college.
I'm thankful that my dad always told me how proud he was of me, and continues to do so. In fact, there was a time that he told me I was the person he looked up to the most in life, and I know he meant it with all his heart.
I'm thankful that my dad took me on many vacations and shared my love of roller coasters. I always had a buddy to go on with me.
I'm thankful that my dad used to get down on all fours and chase my children around the house.
I'm thankful that my dad taught me how to play chess, and, now, he challenges my son who loves the game.
I'm thankful my dad saved me from drowning.
I'm thankful my dad calls me every Sunday evening, like clockwork, to see how my family and I are doing.
I'm thankful my dad is my dad.
I love you, Dad. Happy Fathers' Day!
Feeling blessed in the midst of trial,