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Thursday, June 17, 2010

Thanks For Fighting, Dad

Man's hand giving thumbs up
My father turns 80 later this year.  Like lots of dads, he’s fighting an illness.  And his family is cheering him on every step of the way. 

Given his physical struggles and loss of strength, is he giving up?  Hardly.  Giving up isn’t his nature.
In order to appreciate how far he’s come, you first have to understand where he’s been.  At the beginning of 2010, I wrote about Lessons From My Father’s Illness.  At that time, he was completely sedentary.  Unable to drive.  Unable to walk.  Unable to be alone.

That was six months ago.  He’s still struggling, but he’s also gained strength.  He got rid of his wheelchair.  He’s in intense physical therapy three times a week.  He’s driving again.  And he looks forward to the day he will get back on the golf course.

Yes, he’s still frustrated that his body won’t move as fast as his brain.  But he has hope.  And he’s gaining back some independence. 

Just this week, I've heard from many fathers who are battling illness – brave fathers who are standing strong for their families.  One father I know just suffered an unexpected heart attack and subsequent surgery.  Another father is battling cancer.  Yet another father is awaiting test results and praying for the best.

Of course, none of us want to see our fathers suffer.  As children, we’re used to our fathers taking care of us.  But even through their illnesses, our fathers keep teaching us about life.  Don’t give up.  Stay positive.  Tomorrow will be better.  We can’t change what’s done.  Keep your chin up. 

This Father’s Day, many of us need to thank our fathers for fighting the good fight.  What lessons have you learned from a loved one’s pain and illness?  Who can you thank for fighting this Father’s Day?

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