This past Tuesday my dad (step-dad) was admitted to the hospital. About three years ago he was diagnosed with MS (Multiple Sclerosis) and he hasn't been the same since. Because he is also diabetic the MS has really progressed quite quickly. On Tuesday he was taken to the emergency room for what we thought was a stroke. At this time a stroke has been ruled out, this is totally MS related. He has very little use of his legs, his balance is almost non existent, his eye sight comes and goes, he is often confused, he can barely speak above a whisper, the list goes on and on. He is only 59 years old.
It's a scary thing to watch someone you love and care for slowly deteriorate. Especially when that someone is the epitome of what a truly good person is. My dad is a hero. My dad is admirable. My dad is a man of God.
Today I wrote down a few things about my dad that I love, things that I've tucked away in my heart. Anyone who knows my dad understands that we are truly blessed to know such an awesome man!
What makes my dad so special:
1. Although we are not his children, he has cared for my brother and me and never made us feel like we were not "his" kids.
2. He is very rarely serious. He loves to laugh and make others smile.
3. His corny (but funny) jokes.
4. His ability to put others first, no matter what.
5. His faith and trust is Jesus Christ.
6. His extremely hard work ethic.
7. He is incredibly intelligent.
8. The hick way he says words such as "barrette" (he says bar-ett) and "creek" (he says, crick).
9. His love and patience with his children (all four of us).
10. His ability to stay strong and level headed in the worst situations.
11. The rhyme he made up for me with all my names that he often sings (to the tune of BINGO):
"Ellyn Elizabeth Hockaday Fine,
Ellyn Elizabeth Hockaday Fine,
Ellyn Elizabeth Hockaday Fine
and Betsy was her name-o!"
12. The nicknames he made up for just about everyone in our family:
My brother Cal = Dill
My sister Jordan = Gordo
My son Hayden = Woody
My son Jack = Jake
My son Benjamin = Ben Chuck (Charles is his middle name)
My Aunt Charlayn = Aunt Tan (see post about Aunt Tan)
I could go on and on...
Tell the ones you love and care for just that...that you love and care for them. Never take them for granted. Never waste time. Because as my family is experiencing, time goes by too quickly.