Tuesday, November 20, 2007

My Dad / Thanksgiving

My Dad
Today is my Dad's birthday; he is 76. Lots of people live to be 76, but for my Dad, it's a pretty big milestone. He was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma (NHL) in 1997 and lived through two pretty rough bouts in 1999 and 2002 (if I remember correctly). On Christmas Day 2006, he was admitted to the hospital where he remained until the end of February 2007. Unrelated to the cancer, he had picked up an infection somewhere that ultimately made it's way into his blood stream and into his brain causing him to have all kinds of memory lapses/hallucinations/etc. To this day, he has little recollection of that time period.

In May of this year, he was treated for blood clots in his legs, and recently, he was rushed to the hospital because he was vomiting and passing blood. They discovered an ulcer that had "eaten" through one of the blood vessels in his stomach. He came within hours of bleeding to death.

Today, he is home, a little weaker, but nowhere near as sick as he has been in the past. In fact, he visited his cancer doctor yesterday and the doctor told him that it wouldn't be necessary for him to come in for a checkup in three months (like he'd been doing for the past 9+ years). "I'll see you in six months. Your cancer has been in remission for quite a while--close to five years--and I'm thinking we just may not hear from 'it' again." That's good news! From what I've read, many NHL patients dont' live much more than eight years after diagnosis--Dad is in his 10th year! And, the fact that the cancer has remained in remission/dormant for so long is also encouraging. God answers prayers.

My Dad and I aren't really close, but I call him (he and my Mom live in another state) from time to time, especially on his birthday. I called him last night. "Well, I made it one more year past my allotment," he said. He says that every year since his 71st birthday. When he turned 71, I called and in the course of the conversation he said, "You know, the Bible says (I assume he's referring to Ps 90:10) that we get 70 maybe 80 years on this earth. I figure anything I get beyond 70 is a gift." That's not a bad way to look at it...no matter how old you are--every day is a gift.

Thursday is Thanksgiving. I'm doing the politically incorrect thing and being thankful. (Click here for the politically correct Thanksgiving.)

I'm thankful for:

  • God who saved a unworthy, sin-filled worm like me.
  • My wife. We met 30 years ago and we've been together ever since.
  • My two boys. They drive me crazy (some days that's a very short trip). They are good kids.
  • My church. God's Word is preached. No programs. No clown worship. No silly "hooks."
  • My dad's birthday.
  • My parents. They raised me right. I'm the one that made mistakes along the way.
  • Simple things: sunrise, sunset, beautiful music, a happy thought, smiles, laughter, a good night's sleep.
H A P P Y   T H A N K S G I V I N G .


Baxter said...

Happy Thanksgiving, Keith! Wish your dad a "Happy Birthday" from me. :)
I heard this guy, I thought it was on focus on the family (Monday's), but I am not positive. He said he heard that what the schools are teaching now is that when asked to whom were the Pilgrims thankful, the politically correct answer is...the Indians! I guess to know the truth, you need to go back to the earliest writings and see what they have to say. Sounds like that "Fight Hate and Promote Tolerance" is attempting to incite hate, not fight it.

FCC MEN said...


We are the sandwich generation. I find myself with two parents that are not well, ( and far away like yours), and a daughter who is going to have a baby in June.

God's grace and mercy is so good... And His strength is amazing

Have a happy thanksgiving. You are right... we have much to be thankful for.