Sunday, July 6, 2008

Prayers for my father

July has always been an important month to my family. My beautiful sister, 8 years my junior, was born on the first of this month. My mother underwent her triple bypass surgery and began the journey to a healthy life in this same 31 day period, and we have always celebrated my father’s birth on the 12th with delight.

My father and I are just alike. We think alike, we talk alike, our physical characteristics are almost identical (thanks for the short waist dad!). I inherited my love of public speaking, and my heart for the public from him. My father is an amazing man. He graduated from high school in 1966 at the top of his class. His ACT score was one point shy of perfect, and his SAT earned him a spot on the list of National Merit Scholars for that year. He led his debate team all through high school, and it was his skill in that field that aid his way through what was then Central State University in Edmond Oklahoma. His intended career field was medicine. My father dreamed of being a cardiovascular surgeon, an irony that would not go unnoticed in years to come. God had other plans. After finishing college, once again at the top of his class, my father surrendered to the ministry. He received his masters of Theology and Philosophy from Southwestern Theological Seminary on Fort Worth Texas in 1974, when I was one year old.

My father has always been the grounding force in my life. In the most important and difficult moments in my life he has been a stalwart against the storm. It was my father that pulled me from the wreckage of our car when a drunk driver hit us when I was four years old, and I was pinned between the dash and steering wheel. It was my father who taught me to ride a bike, swing a bat, and love my neighbor. My father is a living example of what it means to be a “Christian”. It was my father who held my mothers hand as the healed from her bypass surgery, and who encouraged my sister and I while we watched her struggle for her life. It has been my father on many occasions that attended American Heart Association and TWTH events when my precious husband was unable, to take photos or video, or just be a supportive face.

My father has lung cancer. My amazingly gifted father, who has devoted his life to service, who has never smoked a cigarette or worked in an asbestos factory, has lung cancer. He was diagnosed on the fourth of July with adenocarcinoma. A fluke in a test meant to uncover problems in his heart found it extremely early. We thank God for the miracle of that. He will undergo surgery on Tuesday to remove the bottom lobe of his left lung, and it will be determined what directions we need to go after that to prayerfully have a full recovery. It is hard to believe I am actually writing these words, but to do so is in it's own way cathartic.

So many of you are faithful friends and followers of my blog and Taking Wellness to Heart. I ask that you keep all of us in your prayers at this time, and that you especially have my father, David Hatfield, in your thoughts.

Most sincerely and with love, Laine