Never


I noticed him swallow before he spoke. His apple bobbing under his chin, the ER doc swallowed, then furrowed his brow. He brought his hand to his bearded chin, stroked it three times. Spoke. Words are powerful. Some words suck the air out a room.

With my bottom plastered to a plastic chair, I was every bit of how God made me. I am my father’s daughter.

I am intuitive. So when the doctor speaks, I am reading body language and hearing the word lesion, knowing the spots on his back have brought my Daddy to this day. My Daddy pushed through days of getting weaker before he gave in and went for help.

The hospital staff, history after history, asked him about his previous stays in the hospital.

He tells them he’s never been in a hospital. Never. He wasn’t even born in a hospital.

The night passes and the big gun comes in tells him the likely diagnosis. The confirming tests won’t be back for a couple of days. But the big gun knows---and we know he knows. We must accept what is common to man but it is never easy. Never.

We are out here in the middle of America but the best clinic in the world for his cancer is an hour up the road at the teaching hospital. And “best in the world” isn’t cliché. It’s true. And we are thankful, so thankful, for the provision because there’s not much we have to brag about being famous for around here, except for being home to the world’s largest retailer, for the man who dreamed his dream just up the road from here (who incidentally battled the same disease), and for a place called Hope that grows giant watermelons and politicians.

My Daddy grew up walking behind a mule in a cotton field. He went to the world when I was in my twenties living in exotic places, working. Places he never dreamed he’d see. Never. He worked until he retired. Two weeks into retirement, he decided he liked the change of pace. Since then, he’s been home tending cows and playing golf---until a week ago Thursday.

Now he’s sick and I am doing what I thought I would never do. Never. Not because I was unwilling but because I wouldn’t go there. Why? It is a waste of time thinking on things and how life might play out until the ball is thrown into your court and you have to run the play.

We haven’t run this way before. Never. But we’re still running even though we are stumbling through a step at time, at times a breath at time. We will run beside him until we finish this course.

And we will be grateful in all things and expect miracles because nothing is impossible with God. Nothing.

As hard as it is tell this story, to be living it with someone you love, there is comfort in knowing that others know this path well and will help us along the way. Mostly, if you believe in the power of prayer, would you lift my Dad before the Throne of Grace. We are praying for healing. Always.

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