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Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Don't Quit

The phone rang this week. It was Dad. “I’m just reporting in,” he said. “This morning I walked the entire circle; all 1.6 miles of it.”

This circle is what he walked every day before his open heart surgery; every day before his stroke; every day before his heart attack; every day before his thirty days of rehab; every day before infection sent him back to the hospital with a 106-degree temperature.

After months of illness, we wondered if he would ever be able to take care of himself again. He could not walk alone. He sat in the wheel chair all slumped over. He struggled to swallow and eat. The future, indeed, looked bleak.

At home he eventually graduated to a walker and success was measured in feet, not miles. As he struggled to walk he would veer to the left and not even be aware of it. The awareness of the left side was gone. He would start on the right side of the road and in 100 feet be across the road—almost in the ditch.

The walker was traded in for a cane. One hundred feet became two hundred; then four. Now eight months after the sickness struck he called to say – I walked the whole loop again – all 1.6 miles of it!

I have walked that circle with him many times. I know its every nook and crack. Although I am not there, I can see him, step by step, navigate his personal track. Amazing, yet it shouldn’t surprise me. He has always been persistent—consistent. In the home and in the church, day after day, step by step, job by job, he has persevered. If I’m fortunate, I inherited a little of that.

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