~ Our Journey ~

United States
June 20, 2009 9:07pm CST
We all have them. Regardless of whether they're present in our lives, or absent, we have them. We also have that yearning for affection from our fathers. The time spent with "Dad, Daddy, Father, Pop, Papa," is very precious to us. Somehow, I never knew how precious it could really be, until 4 yrs ago..... I have loved my dad every since I first met him, birth, duh! :) As a family, we did everything together. But when it was just me and daddy, I felt so loved, and adored. He used to pick me up from school and take me back to work with him. I loved it so much. :) He'd always try and get me to tell his co-workers how much I loved him, I'd just smile and hide my face in his shoulder! When we got away from them, I'd smile real big and say, "Daddy I love you sooooo much!!" He'd laugh, "Oh now you say it!" Days and mos and years went on, and out of all the things we had went through good and bad, nothing prepared our family for what was about to hit. In May 2005, my dad was told that he could no longer work. He was a diabetic, and had worn steel toe boots to work, which rubbed blisters on both of his big toes. One healed up, but the other, unfortunately, didn't. One day while out with my mom and aunt, he had to be taken to the emergency room. His toe was really red, and had red streaks coming from it, which meant an infection. A serious one. So they rushed him to the emergency room, and stayed in the hospital a few days. He was released with instructions on how to keep it clean and all that good stuff, and to have a follow up with a orthopaedic doctor. He went to the doctor, got stuff for his toe, and I dressed and cleaned the wound. Then one after noon, I believe at the first of August 2005, he found out he had to have his big toe amputated. After all the things we did, gangrene still set in. So, he was placed in Forrest General, in Hattiesburg, Ms. Unfortunately, it wasn't the best time to be in the hospital! Considering there was a hurricane brewing in the gulf that would become one of the most diasterous hurricanes ever, Hurricane Katrina. The weekend before it hit, I was volunteered to go stay with daddy in the hospital! I was all for it, because I hadn't seen him in so long, and it would be great to get out of the house for a while! I was young, didn't really know how serious that hurricane was, but I thought I'd be back home right afterwards. The morning the storm was coming through, we talked to my mom and brother one last time, then we waited for the nurses to move him out into the hall. I never knew anything about the storm, only heard alot of rain and the lights went out, bringing the emergency lights back on. I was sitting content right beside my dad, playing my handheld video game. Soon, the batteries died, the hurricane moved out of our area, and we could go back to our room. There was no air, no water, no nothing. Dad was being taken care of, thank goodness, but ... I was scared. I had never been in a situation like that and we couldn't get in touch with my mom or brother or no one. I was afraid for their lives and for our's. The free food at the hospital, became expensive food. Expensive because I didn't come prepared with enough money. Dad was so generous during this time. He needed his food, I told him that, but he'd always at least gave me the angel food cake that they gave him, and some water. Finally, one morning we got in touch with my mom. I was so happy about that, though I hadn't had a bath or anything in almost two days, and it was so hot neither of us could sleep. The hardest thing I ever did in my life... was coming next. My boyfriend, at the time, decided it was time to break me out of the hospital. He wanted to take me home to see my mom. I didn't want to leave my dad but I needed to see my mom. I can still hear daddy crying as I walked out of the room. He told me to leave, but with tears in his eyes. I cried, and wanted to go back, but I knew it would only make it worse. I didn't like what I saw as we left the hospital. So many trees and so many powerlines, it was devastating. Even Prentiss, my home town, didn't look the same. I stayed one night at home with my mom. Then she told me to go back to my dad. So, I left, and we stayed the night or a couple nights with my his grandparents. I finally got a shower, and everything, but I missed my dad. So I made arrangements for me to go visit, but of course, when back in his arms, I wanted to stay. So I did. By this time the air and water were back on, and we were happy go lucky. I could afford food again, thanks to my boyfriend's grandparents! The one thing that we both still lacked, was my mom and my brother. I missed them so much. Though we still were able to talk to them by phone :). Dad was getting ready for another surgery. The doctor had told us, during the storm, that once it was all over, and everything was under control again, that he was going to amputate all of dad's toes. I can't remember the exact date, but I do remember the day. We had spoken to mom, and to our surprise, they could make it to the hospital before my dad's first amputation! I had never been so happy in my life to see my mom and brother, and when we embraced, we didn't want to let go! The same was for dad and them. After his amputation, it wasn't long at all, and we were able to finally go home!!! I can still remember the happiness we all felt! Dad was coming home, and the clean up for hurricane Katrina was going a bit faster than we thought. When we got home.... dad and I developed a routine during the day. I would help him as much as I could, with whatever I could. I was fixing breakfasts, and lunches, and going to doctor appointments, dressing wounds, and laughing at his silliness. Then in October 2005, we got some bad news. We thought everything was going great, but we noticed a difference in the doctor's face and somewhat sadness in his eyes when he looked up and said, "I'm sorry but this leg is going to have to be amputated." Dad couldn't believe it and neither could I. Dad asked, "Are you sure?" I felt tears sting my eyes as the doctor confirmed it. Dad began to cry as well. The nurse who set up the surgery, even cried or was on the verge of tears, because she had gotten to know us both so well. I knew from that moment on, nothing would be the same again. The night before his surgery, I didn't sleep a wink. I stayed online all night talking to friends about the situation. I was scared and not sure what to do. We left that morning for Forrest General, for some reason, I wasn't sleepy at all. I was too scared to sleep. We finally made it, got dad into preparation, and then the wait came. We waited for nearly 2 hrs. Then, we were allowed to go up to his room, which by our surprise, was the same exact room he had before! lol. They called not long after we got to the room to let us know he was on his way up. He was still a little doped up, when he got there, and I can't remember what he said, but it made all of us with somber sad looks, laugh!!! This began a new journey, one that I wasn't sure at first how to go about living. But, I knew that I had to try. So, I did. We were in the hospital for just a week, thank gooooodness!! The first night we got home, he got up to use the bathroom, and fell :(. Thankfully, nothing was hurt, the stitches and staples were still in tact and everything was okayyy!! I believe the doctor appointments were 2 times a week then, and I went with him to every single one of them. With me not being able to drive, it made it more difficult, but we took public transit. We like, the nurses at the hospital and the doctor's office, became very close to the ladies who would drive the transit buses. I hope that gives you a clear picture as to how many times a week we went to the doctor's office. It wasn't long before dad's stump healed up. I was even becoming fascinated with orthopaedics! It was time for the next step and that was finding a prosthetic. He had filled out paper work for a charity organization, I believe it wasn't long after he came home from the hospital. A few weeks after the stump healed up, I was sitting in the living room, and dad on his bed in his bedroom. I hear the phone ring, and roll my eyes, lol, because he always loved talking on that phone - and he still does! After a few mins, I hear this loud yelling, it sounded like a happy yell - thank God, but still, lol, I run out into the bedroom, and he smiles with tears in his eyes, "THEY'RE FUNDING MY LEG!!!!" After a couple mos of hardships and depression, he was the happiest I had ever seen him, and it was so refreshing!!! Shortly after that news, we went to Hangers in Hattiesburg, and got his leg. I tell you, watching someone you love, who has been so sad and confused, smile, is the best feeling in the world. What marked our next journey, was when he gripped the walking bars, and pulled himself up. I'll never forget it. He walked, and it was so beautiful. Soon after that, the doctor visits became less and less close together, no more wounds were found, and if they were, the good Lord healed them!!! Dad through this journey has became stronger. He has been through so much, and I don't see how he can find the time to laugh or be silly :), but I do know that he is still the same daddy I remember from those times I went to work with him. He still loves hearing me say I love him. He still loves sharing stuff with me. We've been through alot more than I can put in this blog, but he has loved me through each and every hardship. Through my breakup with my boyfriend of 6 yrs, through all my other hardships. He has filled me with love and has taught me so much about God and being faithful to Him. God has brought us through so much together, even in the times when I questioned His nearness, He was near. He was there through Katrina, and there in the doctor's office when we got the
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