Several years ago, I had a student named Katrina. Katrina was an excellent student, very appreciative of all things in life; made friends easily; and seemed to be destined for a terrific life!
One evening after a concert, I was telling her parents how well that Katrina had been doing in class and that I thought that she would make an excellent teacher. Her dad told me that Katrina had always been a very giving person – always concerned for the welfare of others. I told him that I wholeheartedly agreed.
The dad told me that she was the most special girl in the entire world. He seemed to get a little misty-eyed when he said that, but I could not figure out why. I had already had hundreds of these types of conversations with parents, but none that so quickly induced wet eyes with a father.
He asked me if I had a few moments to hear a story about his daughter. I told him yes, so he began this terrific story:
When Katrina was 8-years-old, the dad had been suddenly stricken with an affliction in which he lost about 40 pounds in 3 weeks; could not eat or drink without getting violently ill within seconds; had undergone several medical tests; and the doctors could find nothing wrong. In short, the dad believed that he had gone from a healthy and vibrant dad to one who was quickly on his way to checking out … permanently!
Katrina and her dad had a wonderful father-daughter relationship, as they did everything together, including bike riding, talking about friends, exploring the world, etc. In fact, despite his busy schedule, the dad always made time for Katrina. Yes, Katrina thought that her dad was the best dad in the whole world and the dad thought that Katrina was the best daughter in the world!
To see her dad riding a bike at break-neck speeds and rollerblading around the rink one day to becoming frail and unable to eat or drink only three weeks later had a devastating effect on Katrina. She loved her dad and she was willing to do anything to keep him alive. Of course, she was only 8, so her options were somewhat limited. All that Katrina could do was to be available to assist the mom in any way possible and pray.
At any rate, after three weeks of watching her dad glide quickly to what seemed to be a certain demise, the dad’s doctor sent him to a specialist. After hearing the symptoms, the specialist surmised that he knew what the problem was, but he also wanted to check for cancer.
After running the normal tests, the specialist determined that the dad was suffering from a treatable malady with medicine and that the dad should be as good as new within a few weeks!!! The doctor also explained that, had the dad not come in for the tests, his situation would have continued its quick downward spiral toward the end!
Wow, what a relief for everybody. It now seemed like the dad would be able to grow old with his favorite daughter and that Katrina would be able to have her dad for many years to come!
Well, the dad began to faithfully take his medicine three separate times per day and, just like the doctor said, he somewhat quickly came back to health with a renewed vitality. While his health started to get better right away, his energy and strength took a little longer, but by about the 8-week mark, the dad was as good as new. In fact, since he did not put all of the weight back on, he looked and felt better than ever!
(Please come back next week for Part 2)
Paul W. Reeves