Today, November 1, 2009, would have been my Dad's 84th birthday. He passed away in 1992 after suffering a stroke a few hours following surgery for prostate cancer. Dad was only 67. It took him 3 months to die. During that time, he worked hard to regain speech and physical abilities we all take for granted. But, he never saw the outside of that hospital after December 18, 1991.
What happened? It wasn't the fault of the doctors that Dad had smoked for 50 years. He was a chain smoker up til the day he scheduled the surgery. Apparently the damage done to his cardiovascular system (the cancer had not spread) and the inability of the doctors to thin his blood as they normally would after a stroke (because he had JUST had major surgery), set him up for more strokes. One on about February 12, 2009 left him vegetative.
Dad had retired a couple years earlier from sales, a career that kept him literally on his feet for at least 8 hours every day. He was tall, thin, and good looking. He had been severely injured in WWII. At one point, he had been told he would never walk again - but walk he did. He coached little league baseball for years for both my brothers. He mowed the lawn, kept the house in good shape with glue and duct tape as he could fix anything, and never missed a day of work. Upon retirement, he and Mom took to the highway in their RV, fulfilling their lifelong dream of traveling throughout the US. They had a ball.
But, Dad was way too fond of TV. Once he retired, he never took an active interest in anything that was remotely physical. He plopped himself in front of that TV for many, many hours each day. Drove Mom nuts as she's not a TV fan, much preferring to read, walk, and cook. Of course, with 8 grandchildren, all local, they had a house full on most Sundays. Dad would drive the little ones around on the riding mower while he cut their football field sized front lawn.
But, sitting was what he did. Mowing, driving, TV. He eschewed any form of physical activity. I firmly believe that Dad would have lived a much longer life had he given up the smokes earlier and taken up almost any physical activity. As I've written here before, walking during TV commercial is one way to get in your 20-30 minutes a day.
Of course, I have no idea what God's plan might have been for Dad. He was a good man who didn't take care of himself. The same could be said of so many of us. My message here, my gift to my Dad on what was his birthday, is to ask everyone to rev up their activity level - just a little each day - and stick around long enough to help raise those kids and grandkids who count on us so much.
Remember my 100% GUARANTEE. Should you decide to stop walking and resume your old habits, I personally guarantee that you'll get back 100% of your former life - your pain, your lifestyle, your attitude.
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