My Christmas Story

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by Sinker, Dec 24, 2002.

  1. Sinker


    Dec 4, 2002
    Newark, DE USofA
    Dad was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer a few days after Thanksgiving in 1994. A few months shy of his 60th birthday and recently retired, Dad was looking forward to hitting the road the following spring with Mom; pulling their brand new 23-foot travel trailer behind their brand new F-250 pickup. Everything they had been looking forward to came to a halt with the utterance of the "C" word. We soon learned that pancreatic cancer was one of the nastiest varieties, and that the prognosis was not good.

    It was decided that Dad would have surgery as soon as possible. The plan was to go in and have a look. Depending on the severity of the cancer and how far it had spread, they would either take his pancreas or just sew him back up. The surgery was set for December 22 and regardless of the outcome of the surgery, Dad would be in the hospital over Christmas. It's impossible to predict how you'll react to this type of situation until you're faced with it. Suprisingly, my reaction was anger. Seething, ignorant, vile anger. I was pissed. Damn baby-rapers live long lives, and a veritable saint like my dad was going to die a slow painful death, with the added insult of spending his last Christmas in the hospital.

    The surgery did not go well. What the surgeon saw when they opened him up was so bad that they just sewed him shut. We were devastated, and I was still pissed. The next day my wife suggested that I pick up some sort of small Christmas tree for my dad's hospital room. Wonderful. I went to Woolworth's (a local 5&10). I was in a foul mood. Woolworth's sucks. It's full of people that can't afford to shop at K-Mart, but it was convenient. As I entered the store I saw the manager strutting around in polyester pants and a clip-on tie. Ooh, he's at the pinnacle of his career, huh? I gave him a scowl and told some kids to get the hell out of my way as I made my way back to the lovely plastic Christmas trees. I picked out a 15" beauty. I got in line and was sizing up all the cashiers. To myself I thought, "geezus, do they have a weight minimum to work here or what? Somebody should tell these women not to wear stretch pants!" I noticed the head cashier had the esteemed 'center aisle' position that was raised up a little higher than the rest of the cash registers. I’m thinking she made it to her place of honor based on her weight. She easily had 30lbs on the next biggest cashier! An old lady next to me said something that I couldn't quite make out. Again to myself, "why the HELL can't old people speak up?" She repeated herself, commenting on the lovely piece-of-crap plastic tree I was holding. I responded that it was for my father's room in the hospital. She assured me that he would love the tree. Yeah, right. I turned my shoulder to her to avoid further contact.

    I took care of my transaction and was leaving when someone called "Sir! Excuse me..." I turned around to see the head cashier (you know, the REALLY big one).

    She said, "Do you mind telling me your father's name?"


    "I overheard you telling that older lady that your father was in the hospital"


    "If you don't mind giving me his name, I'll add him to the prayer list at my church."
    Well, I couldn't speak. I mumbled something about a pen and wrote his name for her, quickly thanked her and left. I barely made it out the door before I started bawling like a baby. By the time I reached my car I could barely see. I sat in my car and slowly re-gained my composure.

    What's the moral of the story? I don't know. Maybe that I'm not the center of the universe? That our lives touch so many others? That God will go to extremes to get our attention? Probably all of these and many more. I WILL tell you that I was no longer angry. I wasn't happy about my father's illness of course, but I was accepting...and strong...and prayerful.
    You know what I really think it was? I think it was God saying, "straighten up, butthead! This isn't about you. It's about your mother and your father...and your sister... and your kids. I promised you I wouldn't give you anything more than you can handle! Now suck it up one time and act right. Your mother needs you!"

    You know what else? I think it’s about God using someone as an example of His love here on earth. Was the head cashier an Angel? No, not in the way the Bible describes Angels, but I certainly believe that it was no coincidence that the old lady, the head cashier and I all crossed paths at the same time.
  2. Benbass


    Jan 28, 2002
    Thanks for sharing something so personal with us. I'm sorry to hear about your fathers illness and he will be in my prayers as well. I hope that you'll have a nice Christmas in spite of the circumstances. God truly is sovereign.

    Edit: I just noticed that this took place in '94. I should pay more attention to details, but it's still a good story.
  3. So did your father make it? I hope so, dying sucks.
  4. Stupidnick


    Mar 22, 2002 room...
    wow Sinker.. thats touching man. God works in Misterious ways sometimes man. I hope your father made it. That is pretty crazy though.
    Merry Christmas, that brought a tear to my eye.
    Im kind of worried as well about a fiance at the moment and hope she made it home safe. Its snowing semi bad up in her neck of the woods from what i hear. I think situations like what happened to you sometimes can be looked at strangely enough as a blessing sometimes, as to see God work in your or someone elses life around you.
    I wish your family a merry christmas though man.
  5. I should have put this in. My great aunt had the same cancer in about 93, she almost didn't make it. She lost all her hair and had to do the Kemo and radiation but she made it. She is well into her 60's now and is doing wonderful. She has been around the country and world. I need to call her it's been a long time. Hope all goes well.
  6. LoJoe


    Sep 5, 2002
    Concord, NC USA.
    Wow. Great message. From the subject, I thought it was going to be some dude bragging about all the bass stuff he was getting for Christmas or something. Definitely a tale worth telling. Thank you for sharing.
  7. WildBill


    Jul 7, 2002
    Very nice, I always love a twist in life.
  8. superfreak

    superfreak Unregistered

    Aug 18, 2002
    Clarksville, TN
    :( I am so very sorry to hear about your father...I hope all is ok, and you may e-mail me anytime if you need someone to talk to. I have been there before. My mother had Cancer so I know what a rough time you are going through. Rely on your friends and family for support. Pray if that helps, and always remember, you are not alone, especially with a wonderful site such as this. Here is an internet hug from me. Take care and you and your family will be in my prayers.
  9. Sinker


    Dec 4, 2002
    Newark, DE USofA
    Thanks for all the kind words. Telling the story once or twice a year always brings back the emotions.

    Sorry for any confusion, that all took place during Christmas eight years ago. My father eventually died from pancreatic cancer the following November. It was surely a difficult time, but all who came in contact with him were encouraged by his faith in God. Eventually, the memories of his last months were replaced with memories of him in better times.

    Make it a point to tell the ones closest to you that you love them, especially during this season.
  10. odie

    odie Supporting Member

    Thanx you for sharing that. It was touching and it helped put a few things in perspective for me. It helped remind me of the big picture.

    Take care and Merry Christmas.
  11. 5stringDNA


    Oct 10, 2002
    Englewood, CO
    Good thing to hear Sinker. Glad to see you were able to wake up when you needed to. Too many people can't learn when God is workign on them and they end up bitter. Best wishes to you and your family over the holidays!
  12. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member Administrator

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    thanks for sharing a personal story. :)
  13. Yep... That's quite a story man... :)

    Glad you managed to pull thru and that..
  14. ldiezman


    Jul 11, 2001
    Man Sinker.. that was a touching story. That really kinda got to me as I was reading it. I am sorry to hear about your dad, but he is now moved on to a better place. Thanks for sharing that here.
  15. Sinker, I think that was great,you sharing that story with us. It really hit home for me. I couldn't stop crying. which I needed to do... being that I am going through the cancer thing myself, me being the victim/survivor so far...I think I know how hard it is on friends and families, but sometimes it's hard to see being on this side of it...I have personally seen the power of prayer and have been in the company of (human?) angels. I find it strange how God speaks through people sometimes. I spent last Christmas in the Blood and Bone Marrow Transpalnt Unit at Green Hospital in La Jolla.. I am now in complete remission again.....
    Again thank you for sharing that story with us. Somehow it has helped me in some way..

  16. jcadmus


    Apr 2, 2000
    Thanks for sharing your story, Sinker.

  17. The way God reaches out to us is truly amazing :)
  18. It's just not all about us, is it? Sinker, your story helps me look outward and try to positively affect someone's life, and not worry about my own.