19 years ago today was a Sunday. 

And it was Father’s Day. 

Erik had been in and out of St. Paul hospital since January. We’d been admitted almost a dozen times since the first of the year.

After being admitted on April 16 we went back and forth between ICU and the Room 604 where we usually stayed on the 6th floor. 

But we never left St. Paul after April 16. 

On this Father’s Day, Dr. Clyde Yancy and all our other doctors and surgeons came into our hospital room to let us know that despite all the IV drugs and medical interventions they’d done, Erik had less than a week to live without some sort of intervention. 

His transplant status was bumped up to Status 1-A and doctors had to take the chance to operate open heart surgery even though Erik could invariably lose the chance at a heart transplant in the next few days. 

Sunday, June 15 we were told there was no choice but to operate first thing Monday morning, June 16. 

Erik needed a left-ventricular assist device that would be surgically attached to his heart and would constrict and beat so that his sick heart didn’t have to work as hard. 

Mom and Dad brought Bryce and Lexi from Tahoka. We visited with our kids as long as Erik could stay awake. 

A lot of family came. 

We prayed. We cried. 

Erik was 31.  Bryce was 6. Lexi was 4. I was almost 100 years old, but not quite. 

His mom and I sat with Erik that Monday morning in the ICU. We didn’t say much. Erik said almost nothing. Looking back he was barely awake. He was literally at the end. 

They wheeled him to surgery that Monday morning and my world waited…

I’ve written about this day before, but on this 19th anniversary and also Father’s Day weekend – I just wanted to share again. 

Erik lost his dad when he was 7 years old. Then he lost his 19-year-old son when he was in his forties. My heart burns with sadness when I consider Erik’s impending Fathers Day. 

But this year I’d like to acknowledge Fathers Day 2003. We were so scared. We were so sad. But God showed up and did some amazing things. 

In the midst of such sickness, my paralyzing fear and my absolute inability to pray for more than 5 seconds at a time –

God was indeed faithful. He was kind. He held our hand. He granted peace. 

He didn’t heal Erik. He didn’t send a healthy heart on this day. 

But He had paved a way years before so that we would be in the right hands, in the right hospital. 

So Father’s Day weekend 2003 we unwittingly – and only trusting – walked that dark path having no choice but to believe God and His plan for us.

With no hesitation I can tell you that God is always good. I don’t blame you if you don’t believe me.

But look at your circumstances and then look again if you have to. But God is always faithful. TEST HIM, He wants you to!

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