Thursday, February 12, 2009
For my Father
This last several months in my life have been a rough and hard road. I tore my MCL just two days before Christmas and couldn't see my doctor until after the new year. While waiting for the new year to pass so I can get my knee taken care of my daughter started having more pains and problems.
She was diagnosed with Kawasaki's Disease 3 years ago and the doctors told us our biggest concerns would be cardiac related (increased stroke risk and artery problems). So low and behold she has been having leg pain that just keeps getting worse and worse.
The good thing is they have finally ruled out Leukemia and Bone Cancer after a long week of x-rays, MRI's and drawing blood. The bad part now is the waiting. They want to do a couple weeks of physical therapy, then off to a doctor in the next town over and then downstate to Detroit to see an Endocrinologist. During this whole time, I am still waiting for them to decide what they are going to do with my knee.
That brings me to the purpose of my post today. 5 years ago I tore my ACL in half. After my replacement/reconstruction surgery and time off work for therapy, my father lost his battle with cancer. The only blessing of all that tragedy was my ability to travel to his house and spend the last two weeks caring for him.
Today is the fifth anniversary of his journey to the Great Celestial Lodge. My father was a Mason for just over 40 years making him a Life Member at his Lodge here in Michigan. That was one of his final goals, getting to that 40 year mark. His other goal, from a Masonic stand point, was to raise all three of his sons himself. That he accomplished in each of our Lodges and I never saw him so proud for a long time before that or ever again after.
My father was an incredible man. He had 9 kids, was able to keep us all in line and made sure we never went without anything. Every year we went on vacation, all over the country by the time I graduated. He was a police officer, starting as a patrol officer and working his way up to the big seat. During his 32 + years there he also graduated the FBI Academy and the Secret Service Academy working as a local contact for them. After retiring he ran the Police Academy at the college passing on his knowledge.
Through the way he lived his life and the way he treated his fellow man, his wife, his family and his God, he was an incredible example for his children and those around him. Public service is predominate in the lives of my brothers and sisters as we followed his lead of taking care of our fellow man. This example I try to follow in my own life both in my profession and as a Mason and community member. In my professional life I became a Paramedic right out of high school and then followed with becoming a volunteer firefighter for my township thereafter. In my Masonic life I dove into learning after I was raised by my father in front of one of my brothers, a big smile as he was able to complete his wish of bringing all three of his sons to light. Becoming Master of my Lodge in just under three years and then District Deputy Instructor, I received a lot of support from my new found Brothers and quickly putting myself in a place to support them.
I have a loving wife that supports my decisions and is behind everything I do and three beautiful daughters that are incredible at anything they set their minds too. This alone makes me a blessed man, but adding to it the support through the Lodge, from e-mails and phone calls to Brothers that have drove out of the way to stop in at my house, just to see how we are doing and offer every kind of help under the sun as we work through the current concerns with my daughter. From this I see that living my life the best I can to be a just and upright person returns ten-fold.
For this I thank my Brothers, all my Brothers, as I know if I was in your Lodge you would be the ones on the phone or on my porch offering to help.
I especially thank my father for showing me this path and taking the time with each of us. He made sure that we all turned out to be good kids. I will never forget him, I miss him every day. I love you Dad.
The doctors have ruled out the bone cancer and leukemia. We are still trying to figure out what is wrong, but I am more than happy that those major ones have been ruled out. Thanks to all for your thoughts, prayers and kind words.