Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Dear Dad in Heaven

Dear Daddy,

It has been 11 LONG years since I last saw your face, heard your voice, and hugged your neck. I miss you terribly. Life doesn't seem fair at times. Sometimes I wonder why you had to go so soon. Why you left 3 kids behind, but I know if it was your choice you wouldn't have left us. I realize that you are still with us in spirt, but its not the same. As much as I want you back here on Earth with me, I cant ask that. That would be very selfish on my part. You are having the time of your life where you are. You have the perfect heart now. No more suffering! Its all over Daddy!! Now you can breath without struggling,no more machines, and your free from all the medication. I have come to understand not to dwell on the word why! Everything happens for a reason. Dad, I believe your death occurred so I could live. As crazy as it may sound to other people, you know exactly what I'm talking about. As we both know, sadly, there are not enough organs available for those in need. You chose to go so I could live. Well, at least that is what I think.
You would be so proud of me Dad! I graduated high school with straight A's despite battling the disease. It was extremely hard, but I was determined to make you proud and myself. I was determined I was not going to let the disease turn me into a victim. Graduation was very hard for me, because you were not able to attend. You always talked about my graduation day, and if I made straight A's you would buy me any kind of car I wanted. Well, don't worry Dad, Mam-Maw stepped in and did that for me in your honor.
I'm starting to promote organ donation now also like I promised you. I'm working on it as much as I can. I have some plans up my sleeve. I do not want if I can help it, for another family to experience what our family did. No one should have to experiance the heart ache they we did.
The boys are doing good. We are all grown now, Brian is 30, Tyler 24, and I'm 26. I wish you were here to see the boys now you would be so proud of the men they have become. You now have a grandson! Brian, had his first child and its a boy! He named him Brandon. He just turned one. Brian tells Brandon all about you. You are his Papa. Dad, the strangest thing is Brandon, looks exactly like you. Maw-Maw pulled out some of your baby pictures and they looked almost identical. Brian is doing a great job raising him. You were right though Dad, Brian is getting paid back from some of the stuff he did as a kid. Haha I think its pretty funny if you ask me.
The holidays are coming up, which is hard on all of us, but we all know you are shinning down on us. We still leave your chair empty with your picture in it and some flowers. It just helps us deal with you not being here better. Well, I guess I'm going to end this letter with one of my favorite poems, and one of my favorite songs. You know how much I love and miss you, but I will tell you again. I miss you so so much. People say time will heal. It does in some aspects, but in another it makes it harder. I know you are being well taken care of, so that puts my mind at ease. I'm sending you a big hug and kiss from me, the boys, and Brandon. Here is a picture of your handsome Grandson!

Love Always and Forever,
Your Princess

The Broken Chain~Unknown Author

We little knew that day,
God was going to call your name.
In life we loved you dearly,
In death we do the same.

It broke our hearts to lose you.
You did not go alone.
For part of us went with you,
The day God called you home.

You left us beautiful memories,
Your love is still our guide.
And although we can not see you,
You are always at our side.

Our family chain is broken,
And nothing seems the same,
But as God calls us one by one,
The chain will link again.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Honoring my Father

Instead of having to go back and edit the whole story I am just going to post a new blog that I wrote today.
My life changed forever on November 13th, 1998. My father died that day, and I lost the greatest man I ever knew. I could not have asked for a better Father. He was not only my father but my best friend. Cardiomyopathy was the cause of his death. Cardiomyopathy is also known as the silent killer. Most people do not experience any major problems until the disease has gone too far. Cardiomyopathy causes the heart to stiffen which does not allow the blood to flow correctly to the heart. The only cure for this disease is a heart transplant. Naturally when my family was given the news that our only hope for him was a heart transplant, we were devastated. The doctors reassured us that Dad would get a new heart in no time. He was a great candidate for a new heart. I put my faith in God and made the best out of this situation. I knew at this point time was precious, and I made a conscious effort to make as many memories as I could. I was only 15 during this time. I would go to school. Then from school I would go straight to the hospital. I would do my home work in the room with Dad, eat supper with him, and watch Jeopardy. Watching the father I loved deteriorating so fast, in front of my own eyes was heart wrenching for me, because no matter how hard I wished for it, he was not going to get better. I remember some nights falling asleep watching his chest rise to make sure he was still breathing. When I got up at night I would always plant a kiss on his forehead. I knew he was not going to make it, but I held on to maybe a miracle happening. I didnt want to let my Father go! Life was going to be so different for me without him, and I was not prepared to face the world without my Daddy! When Dad died, a part of me died with him. I will never be the same again. I still have a very hard time coming to the understanding that he is gone. There is not a single day that goes by that I do not think of him. I miss seeing his face, hearing his voice, and I would give anything in this world to be able to see and talk to him one more time. When I am feeling overwhelmed with sadness I tell myself to look at my blessings and count them. I was blessed to have the most amazing father for 15 years. The memories we have together no one can take away from me. They are mine forever and always and I treasure them. Daddy was my hero, and I can never thank him enough for everything he has taught me. There are things that happen in our lives that are not meant for us to understand. I will never understand why my father passed away at such a young age leaving me behind. But one thing I do know is that everything happens for a reason. Although his death has scarred me for life, it didn't kill me. And what doesn't kill you only makes you stronger. I am determined to make something good come out of this tragedy. So, throughout my life, I will honor him in many ways. I am going to make a life time dedication to bringing awareness to organ donation, so no other family will have to go through what my family did. He would want me to go on with my life, to be happy and productive. And this is what I shall do, as I know he is watching over me. He is the Angel on my shoulder, and I thank God every single day for giving me the best father in the world. I will always love you Daddy! Rest in peace my sweet Father. Dance with those Angels Daddy, DANCE!
Please join me in honoring my Dad. I'm going to tell you how you can. Make peace with anyone and everyone that you hold bitterness and anger towards. I would strongly encourage you to deal with those issues TODAY. You do not know if you have a day, a week or a year. I never imagined November 13th, 1998 would be the last time I ever saw my father. I can proudly say that I have no regrets. My Dad knew how I felt about him and I knew how he felt about me. Everything I needed to say to him was said. And I know my father was ready to meet Jesus. Nothing would make my father happier than you following his example and make those same commitments today.

Monday, November 9, 2009

This is my first time blogging so please bare with me. I'm not the best writer!
Several of you have asked me the name A Father's Heart came from. I know its not a common name, and may sound funny to some, but It has a very special meaning behind it. My father is no longer with me anymore, but the memories I have of him I will always cherrish forever and ever. My father was my heart!
November 13th makes eleven years that my father has been in Heaven. It's time to get this story out and get moving like I promised him I would!
Dad was diagnosed with Cardiomyopathy (fatal heart disease) in 1996. The only cure for this disease was a heart transplant. He was placed on the list immediately. The doctors all reassured my family that we had nothing to worry about that a new heart would be found in no time for him. Sadly his disease took a turn for the worse and he started heading down hill fast! I took it harder I think than anyone. I was only 15 at the time. When I was told that he needed a transplant in order to survive I was devastated. My father would reassure me that everything would be fine that he is in God's hands and that everything happens for a reason. Sadly on November 13th, my beloved father passed away waiting on a heart transplant. God decided he needed him more than we did here on earth. I had just left the room probably 30 mins before my father passed away. I now believe he was holding out until I left. He knew that I wouldn't have been able to take that emotionally. Whew, its hard writing this, but its now time for his story to get out! Hospitals had became our second home, sadly. I will never forget one of the conversations we had about organ donation. We both agreed that it was a shame that it took something this traumatic to happen to our family to realize the importance of it. Thousands die each day waiting on an organ. This does not have to be! My father's death, although I know there is a reason for everything, still could have been prevented.
Now going on to my story. Two weeks after Dad's passing, I started having passing out spells. My local doctor said it was due to the emotional stress of just loosing my father. Yes, I was very upset about his passing, but knew something else was wrong. The passing out continued for about 2 more days when my mother decided to get a second opinion. Thank God she did because it was not emotional stress that was causing this.
On my sixteenth birthday, January 10, 1999 I was diagnosed with the same life threatening disease that took the life of my father. Now what once I could only imagine someone having to go through, I was living. I saw how my father took on this illness with a great out look on things, and I was determined to do the same and make him proud. It was extremely hard taken on this disease without my Dad, but I knew that he was with me in spirt every step of the way.
My world was turned upside down. I was no longer able to cheer lead, play softball, etc. But I was determined not to focus on the things I could no longer do, and focus on the things I could do.I said to myself that I was going to turn disability in ability! I thanked God for placing me in the hands of some of the best docs out there that was able to diagnose me before it got to late. I waited four years for my transplant. I can not describe to you how painful it was waiting. I felt like I was just waiting for someone to pass away so I could live. Let me tell you how good our Lord was to me. I started to head downhill fast just as my father did within a matter of days. My docs then placed me on the nation wide transplant list. I needed an organ right then. The news broke out in my community about this. I had people all over the world praying for me. After I was told I needed a heart asap in order to survive, my heart came in two days after that news. God has been so very good to me! It was a miracle for sure! I remember when the call came in to come to the hospital, I cried like a baby. I knew that somewhere on this day someone had lost someone very precious to them. I remember how I felt when my father passed away, and my heart just bleed for the family. I prayed all the way to the hospital for my donor family. There at the end it looked like I was going to end up like my father, but God is so good! Praise God! On March 24, 2003 I received my new heart! I am a living example that life does go on after we pass on. Please consider becoming an organ and tissue donor!I know that for some, Organ Donation can be a touchy subject, but lets face it we all know that one day our time will come. Why not leave behind your organs for someone that can use them, and save their life? You do not need your organs in Heaven! In Heaven you will have a brand new body! My dream is to get out here some way or another and spread the importance of organ donation. Someone has to do it. I made a promise to my father that I would not let his death go in vain. I would do my best to do what I could to promote organ donation so no other family would have to go through what we did. I'm still sticking to that promise!!