I'm So Glad He Flunked...

This Father's Day, I'm grateful that my dad flunked a test 15 years ago.

The test he flunked was a stress test.  A test he was "forced" to take by my mom.  (So this Father's Day I'm also grateful that my mom can be "pushy")  She didn't like the way he looked or sounded after he had moved a small boat from one house to another.  Not an easy task, but not one that should have affected his color so much or winded him quite as much.

She coerced him into seeing a doctor during the routine stress test he flunked.  This lead to an angiogram, which he also "flunked."

None of this seems like a good thing, and yet it is.

Very quickly, or so it seems in my memory, he was moved from one hospital to another and scheduled for bypass surgery.

My mother, brother and I went to see him early Friday morning before the surgery.  It seems to me that he was scheduled for first thing in the morning, probably around 7.   We didn't stay after we saw him.  The surgery would be several hours and why sit around a hospital and worry when you can go home and worry in the comfort of your own home?  I swore I was going to go back to bed and sleep.  It didn't happen.

It was around noon time that my mother got the call that the surgery had been successful.  What we had expected to be a triple bypass had turned into a quadruple one.

My mom and I went to see him even before he was moved into a room in ICU.  He wasn't really awake, nor was he really asleep.  But he was doing good.

The recovery path was a long one. (And I'm sure a painful one as well.)  Dad slowly moved from unit to unit as his health improved.

Eventually he came home. Recovery was a hard road.  And not an easy one either.  Dad faithfully stuck to the diet that he was given and did his walking exercise. He takes his medications and goes for regular check ups.

As I said 15 years have passed since he flunked the test.  I'm grateful he did.  With a family history of heart disease if he hadn't gone for that test, had the surgery and so faithfully followed doctor's orders, I don't think that he would still be alive.  And that would be a tragedy.  Not just for me, but for my entire family.  Especially my son who loves to have his grandpa catch crabs and then release them on the dock.  They cheer the crabs on as they head back to the water with a plop, plop, plop.  I'm sure sure if the winning crab is the first one in, or that last one that my father usually has to grab with care (even though he wears heavy duty work gloves) and throw back into the lagoon.

How many wonderful things would we all have missed if he hadn't flunked?

So thank you dad for flunking.  For keeping on track for all these years.  (Yes, I know sometimes you're not as good as you should be, but who is?).  For being a wonderful dad.  For being a wonderful father in law to Steve.   But most importantly being a wonderful grandpa for Jimmy.


  1. I'm very glad to hear he 'flunked'! I sure wish at times that your uncle, my dad , had listened to the signs and 'flunked' tests that he couldn't ignore.. he might still be here


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