You see one year ago, we almost lost my father in law. Ryan's dad. It may be a year later but I remember that morning like yesterday. The phone call. The look of Ryan's face when he picked up the phone and heard his mom's frantic cries. The way he rushed to get dressed and how he ran out the door to be with his mom, as the ambulance took his father to the hospital. Trying to save him along the way.
My father in law suffered a stroke that morning. A big one. Once at the hospital the doctors fought to save his life. They didn't even know if it was possible. The stroke affected his brain so badly, they needed to go in for immediate surgery. After surgery he hemorrhaged and needed another surgery. It was bad news after the other.
The following days were a blur. Ryan would wake up and immediately go to the hospital and sit with his dad while he laid in the ICU, hooked up to monitors and breathing machines. He was in a coma unaware of what was happening around him.
The following months all began to blend into each other. My father in law is a fighter and a man of faith. He fought for this and with the help of his amazing doctors and prayer I believe that is why he is still here, with us today.
In September 2011 he came home. All the surgeries, therapies and dedication on his end and from my mother in law paid off. He would get to live in the comfort of his home, only a few miles down the street from his grandchildren, Oliver and Landon.
Ya know it's funny, he calls Oliver his hero. What my father in law doesn't realize is that he is ours. He fought the hardest fight and is still fighting every day. He survived a tragedy but never lost his sense of humor. I thank God everyday that he is still here. Not just for Ryan but for my children. And for myself. He may not be my blood, but he is the only 'father' I have left - seeing mine has passed away. He has always been on my side and to still have him here after everything - to me, is a miracle. There are no words to describe how happy I am that my children have at least one grandfather. They are lucky too - because he is an amazing man.
It's been far from an easy journey. Not just for my father in law but for our family. We've been pushed and tested and bruised and even scarred but we have come out of this stronger. We know that our days aren't promised and that if this could happen to him it could happen to anyone. I think the one lesson that I learned from this is to cherish your time with the ones you love. Life is busy there is no denying that sometimes it's just easier to 'make that call tomorrow' or put it off until another day. This has humbled our family especially Ryan. This happening to his dad was the biggest thing to ever happen to him in his life. It punched him in the gut and kicked him in the face. He took it hard, as we all did but as much as he put up a front that he was okay and handling it well, I know my husband and I knew that he was hurting.
Ryan has changed dramatically since that day. He is no longer in a hurry, he is learning to appreciate every little moment because in the end its those little moments that mean the most. He's learning that tomorrow isn't promised and you better make the most out of today.
We're growing and adapting as a family. This shook us to our core but we refused to lose faith and to make the most out of a horrible situation. If my father in law can keep his sense of humor after everything he has gone though, we can too.