OT: Best Father's Day Story

Submitted by boliver46 on June 12th, 2013 at 10:58 AM

Trying to plan something for Sunday for Father's Day for my dad - something that will be memorable.  Got me thinking about Father's Days past and what the best experiences were for everyone.

12 years ago, my father was diagnosed with Colon Cancer.  Intensive Chemotherapy, 13 surgeries over the course of 5 years, lots of complications including needing to have a kidney removed, and father's day 7 years ago we got the news right on Father's day with the doctor calling my dad on the weekend..my dad was cancer free for the first time since his original diagnosis.  Best Father's day gift ever!

I'm sure there are plenty of other awesome stories out there that don't involve the receiving of a tie for Father's day.  Let's see 'em!

Comments

lbpeley

June 12th, 2013 at 11:25 AM ^

a pretty cool story. 

I was under the impression that colon cancer was pretty much a death sentence. I can think of around a dozen family, friends, friends of family, or acquaintances who've had it or had someone close to them have it and not one was as fortunate as your dad. 

boliver46

June 12th, 2013 at 11:43 AM ^

Yeah - the statistics are not altogether encouraging, but it varies by what stage it is detected. Below are statistics for chances of survival by stage.

From Website:

  • Stage 2A: 85%
  • Stage 2B: 72%
  • Stage 3A: 83%
  • Stage 3B: 64%
  • Stage 3C: 44%
  • Stage 4: 8%

My dad was Stage 3B, so he had a better than 50/50 chance from original diagnosis.  However, multiple complications kept lowering that number considerably.  He went to a teaching hospital for most of his procedures because he wanted students to learn from his problems...and they seriously would start out with like 1-2 interns in the room and next thing you know the room would be practically full - all astounded at the crap he went through and how he still had the best demeanor around.

His medical file looks like  War and Peace...in LARGE PRINT (r.e. huge).

He's very lucky, and so are we that he made it through!

triangle_M

June 12th, 2013 at 12:49 PM ^

That's very encouraging story and I am very happy for you and your family.  My father is healthy but approahing 80 so every time I hang out with him I try to do bucket list things with him and include my brothers and our boys.  When I was a kid he would always want to take me fishing and I always found a way to get out of it.  So this year I'm taking my father deep sea fishing (out of OBX) Mon-Wed of next week.  Another thing- he has been brewing sours ever since I can remember and in my ignorance, I made fun of him for his "spoiled" beer for years.  It wasn't spoiled, he was just making a sour style.  So now, as penance, I have assembled what I feel to be the finest assortment of sours for us to consume during the week.  Life is short, and I have had a fantastic father who I underappreciated.  Trying to correct that now. 

boliver46

June 12th, 2013 at 1:06 PM ^

I like the idea of doing bucket list stuff, but my dad simply won't make one!  Tells me he's not ready to kick the bucket so why make a list? LOL

 

My dad was diagnosed at 55 (very young I have been told) so that helped his chances.  For lots of reasons we weren't close growing up - grew closer as I moved to adulthood and since the cancer closer still.  I guess if there's a silver lining, that is it!

 

JeepinBen

June 12th, 2013 at 12:58 PM ^

The 2 best father's day presents I've gotten my dad are this book:

http://www.valorebooks.com/textbooks/webers-big-book-of-grilling/9780811831970#default=buyhttp://www.valorebooks.com/affiliate/url/siteID=x0f6M7?url=http://www.valorebooks.com/textbooks/webers-big-book-of-grilling/9780811831970%23default=buy&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=Froogle&utm_source=Froogle&date=06/12/13

Weber's Big Book of Grilling Never had a bad meal/dessert/anything from it. Chocolate Cake on the grill! great for anything from basic burgers to full on crazy grilling.

Gift #2 was my Sophomore year in high school when I took wood shop. I took my dad's bat from when he played high school baseball (an Al Kaline bat) in to the shop and used it as a template to turn him his own bat. Wood-burned his signature into it and everything. He loves that, and it was fun to make as well.

A2YpsiBlue

June 12th, 2013 at 1:35 PM ^

Try taking advantage of something local & perhaps something active.  I don't have any idea where you live but if you are in the Ann Arbor area there are classic car shows in Ypsilanti & every summer there is the Thunder Over Michigan air show at the Willow Run Airport (pretty good show as far as airshows go).  
If you aren't in the area, try to think of something that goes well with father - son bonding.  Sports events (even lower level baseball games like the Toledo Mud Hens) are typically good, too.  Hope that helps.

GoBlueInPcola

June 12th, 2013 at 2:26 PM ^

My son has been a part of my life for 13 years. The difference being, he is not mine by blood. His mother became pregnant a few months after we had ended our relationship. She came to me after finding out obviously upset. We began spending time together as a friendly support on my side. We eventually picked our relationship back up and I went through the full term of pregnancy with her. I was the first to hold him after the C-section and he has my name as his middle.

Fast forward 6 years to Father's Day '06. I'm outside smoking ribs for my own dad and "B" comes outside. As he hands me a card he says "Poppy can I ask you a question?", now up to this point he had always called me that, which was special to us in it's own way, "Will you be my dad?" Needless to say the tears began to flow and I responded with very proud "YES".

He has been a great Wolverine. Singing "The Victors" at age 3, wearing M gear with pride, and eagerly showing off his Denard autographed jersey. He could not be more my son even with a bloodline. That Father's Day will remain my greatest. Happy Father's Day to all MGoDads.

Blue in Yarmouth

June 12th, 2013 at 2:48 PM ^

and a Son who lost his father 2 years ago, my adivse would be to do something simple. Sit your Dad down and tell him how much he means to you and the reasons why you think he is the best father on the planet. As a Dad now I can say that having my sons do that for me some father's day would be the best gift I could get.

My Father passed away in January, 6 months after having a Kidney transplant which he received from my Mother. I remember in early October going to his house to pick up my kids as they had been there for the afternoon. When I went in he was slumped down in a chair at the kitchen table and didn't look very good. I knew better than to ask how he was because the man had never complained in his life regardless of how poor he felt, so I just asked what he had been up to, to which he replyed that he had been out working in the woods all day (which could have been why he looked so poor, so I dismissed it).

After I got outside and strapped my kids in their car seats I got this really odd feeling. Now as you can imagine from my description of my Father above, our family wasn't one for crying or complaining. That's not to say weren't emotional though, just not in the form of tears as such. So anyway, as I am getting into my truck I get this overwhelming feeling that I should go inside and try to put into words how I feel about my Dad.

Feelings aren't something I have ever been good at describing so I never tried. I always knew my Father loved me and I would always give him a hug and tell him "I love ya Dad" whenever I left his house. But the depths of those feelings were never divuldged and for some reason I thought it was important to do it at that time.

So I walked back into the house and gave him a hug and started trying to tell him how imprtant he was in my life. I probably got about three words out before I completely choked up and when he saw how I was struggling he stopped me and said "I know _______, but there's nothing to worry about. I'm not planning on going anywhere anytime soon".

I don't know why, but I believed him and stopped, gave him another hug and told him I loved him and left. I figured I would have lots of time to figure out exactly what I wanted to say and tell him without getting so emotional. It was only a few months later that he passed away.

He was in the hospital awaiting an angiogram when he had a massive heart attack and died. I was talking to him the night before and he he honestly told me he felt better than he had in years and was talking about how he couldn't wait to get out so we could catch the end of Duck hunting season and for fishing season to start in the spring....

As is oftne the case when a loved one passes away, those left behind go back and think about things they may have done differently. The one that always comes back to me is that I wish I wouldn't have been put off that afternoon and regardless how difficult it was, that I would have put into words just what my Dad meant to me. So to anyone looking for something special to do for their Fathers on Sunday, don't think you have to do something spectacular to show how you feel...I would bet if you sat them down and told them how much they meant to you it would be the best Father's Day present they ever got. I know if my sons ever do that for me it will far outweigh anything they could ever hope to purchase for me. Happy early father's day to all on the blog. Have a great one and most of all...enjoy your Fathers if you have them.

Feat of Clay

June 12th, 2013 at 3:10 PM ^

This Father's Day I am nowhere near my Dad, as is usually the case.  But I went home a month ago to see him over a 3-day weekend.  

While there, I asked him if he would consider going with me to his hometown and the area around it (about 90 miles from where he lives now in Nebraska) and give me the full genealogical tour.  My dad has really gotten into family history in the last 10 years and I wanted to hear all this stuff from him while seeing where it took place.  My family used to go to his hometown when I was a kid, but now it's been decades since I've been back.  He was game, so off we went.  

We drove all over, to cemeteries and small towns, war memorials and churches.  Dad told stories while we went up and down country roads with him pointing out old farmsteads of his mom's family.  He showed me where he went to school (one-room schoolhouse, now gone but the old pump remains) and the roads he took to school (he rode a horse to school every day, like a lot of his classmates).   We stood in the old farmyard where he grew up while he told me a story about trying to build an airplane to heaven so he could see his mom, who had died when he was just four.

In the midst of the day, we had lunch in this bar which used to be a general store (and which my Dad used to go to as a kid).  It's the kind of place where there are no menus; you  look at the chalkboard to see what they decided to make that day: that's what you are having.  Our presence during lunch raised that town's population by 2%.

My dad's health is not great these days, so sometimes he'd just sit in the car while I went trooping through the cemeteries with my camera hollering back questions about who we're related to and why isn't this gravestone over on the Catholic side and stuff like that.  We ran into one of his high school classmates (Class of '57!) and I read old newspaper clippings on the gas station wall about my uncle who played football for Nebraska.

I loved hearing this stuff; it's what made my Dad who he is and therefore made me who I am.   It was, I am telling you, the best flipping day I have had with my Dad in years.   I know I will be thinking about that on Sunday.

no joke its hoke

June 12th, 2013 at 6:33 PM ^

I don't know how/if you can post a video on the app but I always liked the video of the early 90's Olympic race where the American pulled his hamstring in the race and his dad came out of the stands, helped his son up and helped cross the finish line. just a amazing video if someone could add it.

GoBlueInPcola

June 12th, 2013 at 10:32 PM ^

Minus the sometimes petty bickering bouncing around on the board, this topic goes to show how awesome we are as an MGoCommunity. These are all heartfelt personal stories and experiences that are meaningful to each one of us,and to enjoy sharing them to total strangers goes to show how great the members of this board are. I don't post often, but this was a topic I really wanted to share.

quiverfull

June 12th, 2013 at 11:16 PM ^

dad came to visit with his wife.  first i got him out of a ticket for going 50 in a 25, that is a funny story to be told over a beer.  that was my gift to him.  but the more important thing was that i sat him on the couch and basically interviewed him about his life in front of my wife and all of our children.  i had heard the stories many times but i always loved them, and i wanted him to speak into the lives of my children as most of them were old enough to start remembering these stories.

so i asked him about the severe poverty of his youth, both parents dying, the depression, shoveling coal in the rich people's houses in grand rapids, world war II, boot camp and flight school, being a P-51 pilot, meeting mom, business, etc.   a great talk that i happened to film quietly with my itouch set on my knee.

despite being 86 and in phenomonal health, nobody but God knew that 2 months later he'd be gone.  so grateful for having recorded that talk.  

honor your father and it will go well with you, and you will live long in the land.    that's my father's day advice.