The Wednesday before Thanksgiving, we celebrated my parents’ 50th wedding anniversary.
It was an extra special celebration because my dad suffered a cardiac arrest on August 28th this year. He was without a heartbeat for more than 20 minutes. Once they shocked his heart and got a regular heartbeat, he was life-flighted to a hospital in Kansas City.
The three-hour drive from Wichita to Kansas City was the longest drive of my life. We all felt we were going to a death watch. My dad was in a coma for several days and in intensive care for nine days—around 225 hours. His condition changed almost hourly, creating quite a roller coaster ride for our emotions. I remember sitting in the quiet, dark waiting room that first night when the thought hit me, “Awwww, it doesn’t look like Daddy is going to make it to their 50th anniversary.” It was heart rendering.
Well, here we are... three months later, and dad is growing stronger every day. We have truly witnessed a miracle! We were able to have a wonderful celebration. Our son Tyler wrote a song for his grandpa while he was in the hospital and sang it for him at the celebration—there wasn’t a dry eye in the room.
I have lost all of my grandparents and several uncles and aunts. But this is the first time for me to walk through a near-death experience with someone in my immediate family. My dad is more precious to me today than I ever thought possible. Actually, every moment I spend with those I love feels more valuable.
Don’t take anyone in your life for granted! Soak up every moment with them and don’t waste even the smallest opportunity to show your love.