JOHN: God has been gracious

First, a disclaimer.  This is a baby name definition not a Webster definition.  Webster would tell you that John means “toilet” or “a prostitute’s client.”  But, I want to write a post about my dad and the baby name definition is clearly more appropriate.  God has been very gracious indeed.  

Yesterday, I had a chance to visit my dad in the hospital.  This required several miracles.  First, it required my dad to confess that he was in the hospital.  Second, it required him to acquiesce to visitors. Third, it required him to be alive.  And, you know what they say about miracles…none of them are small.

Miracle One: The Confession

You will understand a bit about the miracle of my dad admitting his hospitalization when I tell you that I typically find out about serious medical incidents after the fact.  Like, when he mentioned casually that the chemo was making his hair fall out.  WHAT?!  He hadn’t even told me he had cancer!  Or, when part-way through a random conversation he mentioned that a recent collapse had caused him a bit of a hassle and required a trip to the ER.  Turns out it was a pulmonary embolism.  You see, it takes a lot for my dad to consider a call to family necessary.  Recently – after the pulmonary embolism – I had to go over the difference between “cowboy logic” and “normal logic.”  We established some new standard operating procedures for when calls to family about medical matters are required.  This time, he casually mentioned that he was having “some pain” and needed to get it looked at when he returned to town.  I called to nag and got a “yeah, yeah…I’ve got some things to do around the house first” response.   But, he eventually made a doctor’s appointment and even called to confess that he had been admitted to the hospital.  Of, course, he dismissed it as an over-reaction not requiring any action on my part…but at least he admitted his location. 

Miracle Two: Visitors

My dad is a big dude.  Picture a refrigerator wearing cowboy boots and a cowboy hat with hands the size of dinner plates.  He does not like to display weakness of any sort.  Needless to say, having people visit him while he lies horizontal in a hospital bed wearing a gown is not his idea of a good time.  He has said on more than one occasion that he does not want his kids or grandkids to remember him weak or dying.  He prefers to suffer in solitude.  He watched his mother waste away and knows that once you’ve seen those final moments it’s harder to conjure images and memories from a person’s vital years.  So, I actually had to ask my dad whether he would allow me to come in his room if I drove the three hours to the hospital.  I think we might both have been surprised when he said, “Yes.”   As it turns out big, strong guys still look big and strong in hospital beds. We had a delightful visit and he even softened his previous position on visits from grandchildren.  

Miracle Three: A Pulse

Now, none of this would have been possible if my dad wasn’t alive.  And him being alive is truly miraculous.  He survived Vietnam, a gunshot wound to the head, cancer, MRSA, and a pulmonary embolism.  This latest hospitalization was the result of a burst appendix.  His sweet nurse just kept shaking her head as she reviewed my dad’s medical history.  It reads like a list of things that could have killed him but didn’t.  My dad is a medical marvel. 

John – God has been gracious.  He has indeed.  And for that, I offer a prayer of gratitude.

Older “J” post you may have missed: Joke


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