Today is my dad's birthday. We celebrated tonight at mom and dad's house. My 7 year old and 3 year old were there to help celebrate with dollar-store presents they picked out themselves. Hey, it's not like he needs anything.
I have to remember on this occasion that we are so blessed to have my dad here. When I was in college, Dad had triple bypass heart surgery. He was in his mid 50's at the time. That's a pretty major surgery to go through, but he worked hard at recovering and changed his whole diet to stay healthy. Everyone was so surprised when they heard he needed heart surgery because he was thin and worked out. But his arteries were clogged up nonetheless.
Then, about 5 years ago we found out dad had a tumor. It was an extremely rare, slow-growing tumor. The doctor said he would die from something else, not from this tumor. It was located on the tail of his pancreas. He and mom had a vacation planned and the doctor told them to go. He said they would work on a treatment plan when they got back. But the night before they left he passed out in the restroom at M.D. Anderson. Turns out he was bleeding internally because of the placement of the tumor and had surgery later that week. If he and mom had been on the road, he would have bled to death. This was the 2nd major surgery my dad faced and he was not a young man!
After surgery he went through chemo. The whole time he was sick I prayed for him to live longer. My prayer was not selfish either. I had 2 reasons: 1. That he would live so my mom would not be alone. 2. That he would live so that my children would know their grandpa.
We have been so blessed. My older daughter hardly even remembers when grandpa was sick. He has welcomed 2 more grandchildren to his family since the cancer came. I am so grateful for God's mercy as we celebrate his 73rd birthday today.