My dad had a heartattack a year ago on this date while sailing off the coast of Florida. Thankfully, he was smart enough to pay attention to the symptoms and with the help of his friends and the Florida Coast Guard, he was taken to the nearest hospital in Pensacola, FL. The doctors put a stint in two of his arteries and he spent 3-4 days in the hospital. A year later he is doing fantastic! No lasting effects. I didn't see him in the hospital because he was several states away and by the time I even learned of the incident, my dad was out of surgery and recovering well.
It's kind of crazy to me how I think I'm having more emotions about his heartattack this year than I did when it actually happened. I guess it's because I can look back at all of the things that have happened in the last year that I couldn't have shared with him if the heartattack had taken his life. I am so blessed that my dad is such a good man and, other than being really strict and having a trigger temper, was never abusive to me and his approval means the world to me.
Two weeks after dad's heartattack, I met my boyfriend, the man I hope to eventually marry. For him to have been able to meet my boyfriend... to get his approval of boyfriend... for boyfriend to meet him and for them to like each other. For dad to see me go through a winter without having to go inpatient and see me making future-oriented plans that I'm excited about. For dad to let me take him rock climbing for the first time... For another year of holidays with him. For the hope that if/when I do get married, he's still going to be around to walk me down the aisle. For being my partner in our family Easter egg toss and winning 1st place this Easter! So many little things that I would have missed sharing with him over the past year.
Thinking of any of those things happening without him here, brings an overwhelming sadness. I am pleased that most of my emotions seem to be focused on my thankfulness that he's still around and the love I have for him. I am keenly aware of the hole that I know am able to see his death will leave in my heart. I can only pray that this time is several years from now.
So, until that time, I am so incredibly thankful for every moment I get to spend with my dad.