Both of my grandparents on the Tanner side had bypass surgery. Last week was my dad’s turn.
He had a bit of chest pressure, and after multiple stents, figured he’d better get it checked out. The ambulance picked him up at 5 AM. Mom followed in her car, but only after she got her makeup on.
It is disconcerting to see your parent, or really anyone you love, go through such a procedure. It’s scary. Even with modern medicine and a really good doctor, there are risks with an almost 80 year old having extensive surgery. My dad knew that.
He knew it enough that last week he made it a point to tell each of his children and each of his grandchildren that he loved them and was proud of them. Covering his bases, just in case.
My dad actually does a pretty good job of letting all of us know just how thankful he is for his children on a regular basis. He gets a bit emotional before the dinner prayer at family events because he is so proud of the group of heirs that now surround him.
So for us, it wasn’t an earth shattering moment to hear his words of affirmation. They are fairly normal in the Tanner household.
I think I’ve done the same for my kids. I just love them simply because they are mine. I see wonderful in them that they can’t even fathom yet. Although I tell them, they don’t yet realize how special they are.
If something happens to me, I don’t want my girls to have to guess about my feelings for them. I want them to be 100% confident that I loved them, that I respected them, and that I was proud of them – no matter what.
I think growing up with that safety net gave me a peace that enabled me to be myself, not working to prove something to the world. I always felt that I was a pretty cool person. May not have been outside of the family, but within those walls, I was made to believe I was a rock star.
Not every kid has that level of acceptance. Although ideal, maybe it doesn’t have to come from a parent. Perhaps I have an ability to show love and acceptance to other kids through my interactions and encouragement at church or the mall or at my kids’ schools.
My dad seems to be doing well. I am thankful for his acceptance and hope to pass that on to others who need it.