As the days and weeks progressed from that gut wrenching moment, amazing things began to happen. The blog I created to update family and friends as to his progress received thousands of hits. Like THOUSANDS. In 2 weeks. Individuals I have never met read his story and prayed for our family. I received messages from people telling me that my writing and his story strengthened them in their faith and refocused them on what matters in life. On November 10, my small mind wanted my dad at my wedding. God wanted that, but he also wanted his people to know him more. In hindsight, I feel as if God was sitting above looking down at me like a small child and thinking "oh ye of little faith; my child he will say those 5 words, but his story will say so much more."
After an incredible wedding weekend, where my dad not only said those 5 magical words, but also gave a speech, danced the night away with my mother, enjoyed a good bourbon or two and told me during our father daughter dance that this was the time of his life, I reacquainted myself with a God who is truly the giver of life.
Enjoying the vibrancy of his health, my amazing dad began training for a marathon. Not to air too much dirty laundry (sorry Dad), but like most of us, my dad had approached fitness regimes and workouts several times only to fall back into habits that often come with a busy life and full career. So basically like most of us. But this time was different. The man found a very strict training program and stuck to it. He is adamant about his training and methodical about his runs. Falling off the wagon wasn't even a consideration. It's like...his brain is stronger. I've heard so many times that running a marathon is a huge mind game. If you can train your mind to convince your body to keep going, you can finish. And that's exactly what he did:
My dad is pretty much the greatest man ever. He completed the marathon with both of my brothers by his side. So proud of all three of them. Here are a few more pics from the run.
And just for kicks...
I am so unbelievably proud of him. He is a fighter and a survivor. He is a "can-do" guy. He has never been one to cast blame or wallow in self-pity. He has been the backbone of our family: the guy who can make anything work.
I think the term "God works in mysterious ways" is one of the most absurd and misleading phrases there is. There is nothing "mysterious" about God continuing to provide for his people. To be anxious is to be arrogant. Anxiety and worry comes from people believing that they have harnessed the universe and that they are the masters of their fate. Worry is the recognition that as individual human beings we do not have total control; we suddenly feel that things are "out of control" and moving in the wrong direction. That's how I felt on November 10. I wasn't in control, and it became apparent to me that I thought I was. Sure, bad things happen. But no matter where we go, what we experience or what we endure, we can rest in the knowledge that our lives are totally out of (our) control, and it is MOST DEFINITELY best that way. If it was up to me my dad would have merely walked me down the aisle and said "her mother and I do." The accomplishment of this marathon is only a small piece of what has happened this last year that makes me eternally grateful that it is not up to me.