I'm still a little too tired and emotional to write everything out, but I can't let this Tuesday pass by without giving extreme thanks for having a second chance with my dad. On Sunday night I got the call no kid ever wants to get -- that your parent is in the hospital after having a heart attack.
Luckily, my dad had the most minimal kind of heart attack you can have. No permanent damage, no major surgery required, not even technically cardiac arrest. Although there probably wasn't much he could've done to prevent it (he got a clean bill of health at the doctor just a couple weeks ago and has been dieting and exercising), what he DID do when the symptoms started probably saved his life. Instead of ignoring the dizziness and the pain in his shoulder, within a short time after the signs began, Dad asked Mom to drive him to the hospital. SO much less traumatic than the whole collapsing/ambulance calling thing. I guess it's a good thing that the non-dramatic parent had the first life-threatening injury. My mom just falls into people's salads.
Having watch my best friend lose her dad a couple of years ago and a good friend lose her dad just a couple of weeks ago, it would be a disservice to them to NOT pump up my daughter duties. I may be 2,000 miles away, but watch out Dad, I'm stepping it up. Of course, I'm going to have to get creative when the parents go to Italy for a month (fingers-crossed the doctors have tentatively cleared it), but my brother and I can definitely put our heads together.
At any rate, free-form rambling aside, if you have a dad, please go give him a huge hug. Don't wait until Father's Day!
(Oh, and I'm also super thankful for fancy new technology -- who would've thought minor heart surgery would keep my dad at St. Vincent's for a shorter time period than my appendectomy in '94)