There are so many reasons that my Daddy is my hero.
He was my hero because…he dedicated his life to his family from the very beginning. The example he set was to always work hard no matter what, nothing was going to be handed to you. If you wanted something it was up to you to go and get it yourself. Whether it was something material or a dream, only you could make it happen. He was my hero because…he was a sailor in the US Navy. Dad served his time overseas and came home to my Mom and they were married. He was my hero because…he was completely dedicated to being a husband and father. Working as a cancer research scientist at Roswell Park Cancer Institute he believed in his career and worked long hours to provide for his family, but more importantly fighting to find a cure for cancer, the disease that took his mother. He was my hero because…I watched him sacrifice his time as he took care of my grandfather, his father, as he got sick and weakened due to his Emphysema. And I watched as he helped to take care of my grandmother, his mother-in-law, with daily visits for years as she lived with Dementia and Alzheimers without one complaint. My mom had a very hard time watching her mother deteriorate, so my Dad took the responsibility of going there sometimes 3 times a day to feed her, bathe her, and just keep her company. He was my hero because…after my Mom died of a sudden heart attack in December 2010, he often talked of never wanting to be a burden to us kids. He suffered from many health problems and battled daily ailments that he never wanted us to be concerned with. My Mom and Dad would have celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on the October 14th after Mom passed. He succumbed to our insistence and we all quietly celebrated their Anniversary as a family that day with a home cooked meal and some light conversation. This was more for us than it was for him. He was my hero because…he always had a plan. The next day he asked to be taken to the hospital because he simply had some pain in his leg that wouldn't go away. He would never leave… I always said he knew more than he would ever let on. Being in the profession that he was in I'm sure he had a gut instinct. We had our last coherent conversation the next day while he was in the hospital. He was my hero because…se was so selfless. All he wanted to be sure of is if his grandkids were ok and that Tim and I were strong in our relationship. The diagnosis came that night, Leukemia. I will never forget the doctor talking to me, almost whispering the grim news, and turning around and seeing my Dad's face. The fear in his eyes confirmed he knew all along. Within hours he was transferred to Roswell Park Cancer Institute. So ironic. We had no ambition to aggressively treat him, we just wanted to give him as much time as possible and make him comfortable. He was my hero because…his love for us and my Mom was so strong that it gave him the courage to let go. Within 12 hours he was gone, not from the cancer, his heart simply stopped beating. He didn't want to be a burden, and he just wanted to be with his bride again. He was my hero because…as hard as it was losing him, I know that until his very last breath he only wanted what he thought was best for us.
The words Sacrifice and Courage are both included in my journal.
Credits: Connie Prince
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