My Dad had a heart attack. It was 3 years ago today.
He's okay now, but it scared us all to death...because my Mom had a heart attack 15 years ago.
She lives with Jesus now.
But my Dad? We could not believe it. The doctors said they couldn't even find a category to put him in. He didn't smoke or drink. Worked out 3 times a week. Good cholesterol, low blood-pressure, low heart-rate.
Every year in November, my Dad's Sunday School class gathers together to send boxes of gifts to the troops overseas. It's a ministry close to my Dad's heart, because we are a 4 generation military family. My grandfather was career Air Force, and my Dad was career Air Force. My brother was in the Army, and two of my nephews presently serve in the military.
So on this day...my Dad's class stays after church and they have a potluck lunch. They make sure the boxes are filled and wrapped and ready to go...and then they pray over them...and pray for the ones who will receive them.
I can just picture the scene. Most all of the men, and some of the women, in this class are veterans. They love God and their country. They're older now, but memories of the time they served is still fresh on most of their minds. They tell stories of their service and their families...what they saw, what they missed.
They said that my Dad had just led the prayer, and he went to sit down while everyone else lined up to fill their plates. He wasn't feeling well. At some point, he left the table...unnoticed...and one by one, everyone got their food and sat down to eat.
They found my Dad in the kitchen...on the floor. Alone.
That part breaks my heart.
But he wasn't alone. Not really. God was with him. My Dad was talking to Him...and he wasn't scared at all. He said, "God, if this is it...I'm ready."
Confident in his eternal destination.
By God's plan and provision, there was a nurse or two in the group. They shooed everyone out and went to work to make Dad comfortable. Someone called 911. The rest of the group gathered in the other room...held hands and prayed.
What a picture.
By the time my sisters and I got to the hospital the next morning, my Dad had had stints put in and was in recovery. When we walked in, he was sitting up like a bird in his hospital bed...drinking juice and watching tv. He had asked for breakfast about 50-11 times, according to Clara...so that pretty much showed us he was back to normal.
But he's not back to normal...and probably never will be. He's gone from being fairly mobile and independent...to being weak, unbalanced and slow-moving. He's gone from taking absolutely NO medicine for the first 74 years of his life...to taking 6-8...even 10...meds per day. He's so frustrated. He wants his strength back more than anything.
Last year, he was tentatively diagnosed with Parkinson's. So far, his mind is sharp...and that is a blessing. We pray he'll have strength for all of his days.
I am so thankful for a godly father. I am thankful that God spared his life that day 3 years ago...altho, I don't think it's as much He spared his life...as it just wasn't his time.
"...all the days ordained for me were written in Your book before one of them came to be." Psalm 139:16