A Father Whose Been Changed

Because NaBloPoMo’s theme this month is Relatives I realized that I had written this series about my dad a couple of years ago. This particular post sums him up quite well. So I thought I would repost it for today’s Relative post. He has come a long way from his cancer battle. Several references are made to that period of time in this entry. If you are interested in reading the series i wrote about his fight with cancer you can do so by clicking these links:

My Dad, My Hero – Part 1

My Dad, My Hero – Part 2

My Dad, My Hero – Part 3

My Dad, My Hero – Part 4

If you remember my series of 4 entries about my dad from a few months ago then you know what a trying year it has been for our family and for my dad.  I realized that the last one ended with my Dad just about ready to finish up his radiation treatments.  Well, the last four months has brought about healing and a lot of continued waiting.  He finished those treatments and then patiently sat back and waited for God to finish healing his body so he could move on to the next steps in the healing process.  More about that in a couple of paragraphs.

I’m gonna get really honest about my family in this entry.  When I was growing up  everything wasn’t always sunshine and roses in our home.  You can probably say exactly the same thing about your home as well.  Noone’s home is truly what we make it appear to be if you’re downright honest about it.  THAT is another entry entirely.  At any rate, patient is not a word I would have used to describe my dad back in the days when I was growing up.  I saw a lot of impatience actually and a lot of anger – traits that I carried into my adulthood as a result.  However, I can honestly say in the last 18 years or so I have seen my dad do a 180 degree turn.  He is not the same man he was when I was growing up.  We have all done a lot of growing and changing in our personal lives and in the ways we relate with one another – not only within our own families but with people in general.  Noone is perfect.  But while I have seen him grow and change a lot in that period of time I have seen him change even more in the last year.

The last year has taken away his control over nearly every part of his life.  While the changes have been gradual as his papilloma condition has gotten worse over the years, the last year has brought him to a grinding halt in so many ways.  He has lost control of talking, at times breathing, singing, preaching, socializing, independence, tending to his own hygiene, exercising, doing his own home repairs/maintenance, driving at times…just to name a few.  For a man who has always fought to be in control that is a lot of loss.  For a man who has been independent and proud that is a lot of humbling.

He has spent a lot of time being quiet and waiting.  He has had to wait for diagnosis’ many times over.  He has had to let us make some decisions for him when he was not physically able to make them for himself.  He has had to accept a lot of medical procedures that he never wanted to have to endure.

But I have watched him let go of the reins.  I could see none of it was easy for him.  One could watch him sit and think and see the mental tug-of-war in his mind and in his spirit.  He has gone from being in complete control to losing most of that control.  It has been a long road – a very long road.  While we have all thought we have seen the light at the end of the tunnel many times he was realistic and guarded his heart from losing hope.

There have been so many steps in this ordeal.  Each step he has had to let go of the reins a little more and a little more.  But earlier this afternoon the sign of completion of the process came about in the form of a phone call.  The last step in the process was getting a handsfree talking device installed  – which happened today.  Earlier today my cell phone rang and I saw his picture show up.  I answered the phone and it was my Daddy – my humbled, changed and healed Daddy.  Praise the Lord the light we have seen at the end of the tunnel was indeed the light of healed completion of the process.

The next step is up to him.  He finally has some control back again.  He has let God change him in so many ways.  Now it is up to him what he does with the new work that God has completed.  He will be re-entering society and the world of speaking again.  One day I’m convinced I will sit in a church pew somewhere and listen to my Daddy preach again.  And I guarantee you that he will bring praise and glory to God for the mighty work He has done.  Because a miracle has been performed. A new man has been made.  My Daddy is back.  And I can’t wait to see the results of all the hard work that he and God have done together.

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