Almost 5 years ago I lost my father. He had been battling heart and lung failure for ten years, had outlived the original prognosis from the doctors and had fought to get better.
He had gotten better, in that he was able to leave the hospital, he was able to undergo some pretty significant surgeries and he was able to live a life similar to the one he had lost, but in many ways that first illness had taken from me the father I knew all my life growing up. In the last year of his life I did see that man come back, he had let go of some of his bitterness, he had accepted things as they were, not for what he felt they should have been. Every day I miss him, and wish he hadn't left this world, I know that he is no longer in pain and that he is in a better place with my nana and his dad.
I was pregnant with Chandler when I received the first call that my dad had gone into the hospital. I thought my world was ending, how could my dad, the man who always went to the gym was maybe even a little vain about his looks (no big deal, I mean who isn't to some degree?), be so sick that he had to be rushed to the hospital and that the outlook was bleak? It didn't make sense to me, but it was true. In all the time my dad was sick he was so strong for me, he told me he was going to be fine and that he was fighting and that I shouldn't worry. I'd cry and he told me I'd be ok, and that everything would be ok. I should have been comforting him, but he was comforting me.
My dad is a stubborn man, and he fought his illness and he got better, but he was never fully himself again. He was not able to fully recover and he had some very bitter feelings about his condition. So mix in bitterness and a quick temper sometimes a bit of a explosive combination.
But it didn't matter that things had changed, the one thing that was forever constant was his love for me, Chandler and the rest of his family. He had a huge heart, and was willing to love freely and openly. He would hold a grudge and he got angry, but when push came to shove, he'd always let go of those angry feelings and he would welcome in everyone because deep down he understood what family was all about.
I wish that eveyone who reads this understands that importance of their dad, and that just as parents say to cherish every moment, you need to cherish every moment with your loved ones as well!! I have many regrets about things with my dad, I have very few photographs of my dad and I, and I truly wish I had had more. So treasure the times you spend with your parents, grandparents, children, cousins, family, friends because it's those treasured moments that help us get through the hard times and come up on the other end healthier, happier and better people