My Dad was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia in September '06 and fought a long, hard battle for 11 months. I am so very proud of him. After traditional treatments did not help, he went into an experimental program knowing the odds were very slim to none for him but that someday it may help others.
FLASH BACK - 1985: As a young, new Mom, I contacted Shingles. I had plans for a trip home the following week. Called my parents to tell them; they were worried about me getting on a plane sick, with a newborn. We were having a 3-way conversation when my Mom said "Let me and your Father get off the phone for a few minutes and talk about this and we'll call you back."
An hour later I'm still waiting, so I call and Mom answers the phone and says "He's left."
Me: "Left for where?"
Mom: "To come get you."
Me: "To come GET me??? In COLORADO???"
Mom: "Yes, he's on his way." Silence¦. "Mom, he DOES realize this isn't like going around the corner to bring the newspaper to Grandmas' house right?" My parents lived in NJ and I lived in Boulder, CO at the time! 1,800 miles away and it was after 11pm when he left! Mom says to me "We got off the phone, he looked at me and said, "Start making me some sandwiches while I pack some clothes." Mom said she knew better than to try to talk him out of it when she saw the look on his face. She said he was out the door and on the road in less than 10 minutes.
My Dad had many, many wonderful friends he'd know since he was a small child. These friendships had endured through all these years. When he passed way at 75, it was great to see them all turn out in tribute to a great man. People he'd literally known, and stayed friends with, since he was in kindergarten and 1st grade! His funeral was amazing. The place was packed “ which is amazing for someone of this age “ you only expect to see that with younger people. He was dearly loved by so, so many people¦
FLASHBACK: I got married a few years after that Colorado/NJ trip. At my wedding, my Father/Daughter dance was "Wind Beneath my Wings." There is no song more appropriate in this world to explain, acknowledge or honor my relationship with my Dad.
Yes, my Dad is my hero. Ever since that night he got in his car and drove 1,800 to rescue his daughter and newborn grandson; He is, was, and always shall be, "the wind beneath my wings".
Did you ever know that you're my hero,
and everything I wish I could be?
I can fly higher than an eagle,
"cause you are the Wind Beneath My Wings"
RIP Pop 01/07/32 - 08/20/07