The title of this post reflects my Daddy’s current status. If he had a Facebook page, this is what would be posted. When I talk about his current ailments, it makes him seem so old but really he is a spry 64 year old. He has hardly had an ailment in his life other than a massive heart attack that resulted in open heart surgery back in 2006. Well, there was that one time a man ran over his leg at the Chalk mine when I was a little but that’s a completely different story. Life has rocked along since his big surgery & on November 1st he took a fall, landed on his elbow and sort of jammed everything upward. The MRI proved it to be a shredded shoulder. He tore his Rotator cuff and sort of shredded all the surrounding tissue too. Poor fella. A month later on December 4th, Daddy had surgery to repair his shoulder. He handled surgery like a champ and we are so thankful!
In the process of getting cleared for the shoulder surgery, he had an abnormal stress test which led to a Heart Cath which led to the discovery of a 90% blockage on a small artery. The good heart doctor said “yes” to shoulder surgery & said we would fix the heart next. That seems kind of backwards I know, but the shoulder surgery is relatively safe and it is a LONG recovery so we really needed to get this show on the road. We trust his heart doctor completely and were great with his plan:) The shoulder is recovering and the ole’ heart is up next!
Earlier this week, I had the pleasure of transporting Daddy to his physical therapy consult. He can’t drive for 6 weeks so we will all be pitching in to get him around for a while. I picked him up at 7:30 am sharp at the house I grew up in. He came out in his now signature hat, a giant sling contraption strapped around his body, plaid pajama pants, a tee, a button up draped over his arms, & his slip on Sperry shoes. He was a sight. He did not want to be coddled or helped down the steps but he promptly asked me to help him buckle his seat belt when we entered my car:) He drove from the passenger seat the entire trip just like when I was a teenager first learning to drive. We talked about the kids, Mom, Brad, Ma-Ma and football. He was in good spirits but even the little bit of movement at therapy was painful. It made my heart hurt to see him grimace in pain. He never fussed or complained but I could see it. I was reminded how fortunate I am to still have him & how fortunate we all are to have good health. I thought of friends who have watched parents suffer with Cancer or Dementia and it broke my heart. I was sad and grateful all at the same time. I don’t want to be melodramatic, he is not on his deathbed. I almost typed that he is not dying but then again, aren’t we all? At 64 years old, you definitely have over half your life behind you & none of us know when we will be called home. That’s depressing and glorious. Gosh, life is just so many things and so many feelings. Back to this though, Daddy is going to recover from these ailments but there are life lessons in each life experience cause nothing is wasted. God can use it all. All of that to say, it was a strange turn of events to be a caregiver in my parent’s home. I gave medicine, straightened and adjusted his sling, poured drinks, all of the things he did so often for me, before I could do it for myself.
As I sat at my parent’s dining room table doing some work on the computer, I felt like it was suddenly 1987 and I was 8 years old drawing Daisy Duck so I could submit it to the Telegraph’s art contest. My picture was chosen and it was in the paper, that newspaper clipping is probably stuck in one of Mom’s photo albums. Then it felt like 1993 and I was 14, struggling through my math homework and Daddy would come to my rescue to help me get the right answers. I looked up and Daddy was watching Gunsmoke in the next room and it really seemed like I was stuck in time for a minute. I reflected on how many times I had sat in that very room at the table thinking through things like homework, weekend plans, boys, friends, what I would be when I grew up. I thought I would be all sorts of things and I never could have imagined how things would actually shake out. God definitely has a sense of humor:) If you had told me all the details of the journey, I probably would have opted out. But man, am I glad I stayed the course because His plans are always bigger and better than ours. Time is such a gift. Seasons are such a gift, both physical seasons of weather and the seasons of life. Our Heavenly Father set up time to benefit us knowing that we are too fragile to view it all at once like He does. So, he gives us seasons and He structured time not to frustrate us but to protect us. He gives us little bits and I believe at the end of our lives we will be able to view the entire beautiful tapestry and see God in all the details.
Sometimes I think of my Daddy & how much I have always loved him no matter what, because he is just one of those people who is easy to love. I think God was priming me for who I would eventually marry and that same BIG love I always had for my Daddy was there for my husband when he needed it. Brad has that same quality as my Daddy, you just can’t help but love him. Daddy worked a lot of Sundays when I was growing up so he didn’t go to church with us too much so getting to see my Daddy worship and walk closely with God today in my adulthood is such a sweet God gift to me. I loved using his bible for reference while at his house this week. The notes, underlines and highlighted sections warmed my heart. I felt warm and fuzzy until I found about 4 pics of my sister tucked in different places of his bible and only one of me. It wasn’t even JUST me, it was me AND Brad:))
I think I aggravated Daddy by keeping such a close eye on him. His words were: “You are like a damn chicken hawk Jodi!” He said he couldn’t move without me jumping and asking what he needed. I know that deep down he is thankful for my over attentiveness:) It is hard to do normal daily functions with just one good arm. He tried to read the newspaper and threw it down in frustration because he couldn’t flip the pages well. I told him we could pull up the paper on his tablet and he could scroll to which he quickly quipped “I don’t want to scroll.” Alright then:) He just wanted to read his newspaper like all his friends and not scroll like the kids do these days.
His legal name is William H. Outler. Some call him Bill, (in his younger days he was Wild Bill), most call him Billy, my babies call him Pop and I am so thankful to call him Daddy. Stay tuned for more Billy Chronicles as I “Billysit” over the next few weeks!
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