My dad was a positive thinker. Growing up, he made us watch Zig Ziglar videos, before Zig Ziglar was cool. I remember spending Saturday nights in front of our huge console television, watching Zig’s videos on our VHS player, about positivity and productivity and life itself. He wanted us to absorb these life lessons, and to know that “the negative few should never outweigh the positive many.”
Today was a first, for us. We took Dad to the doctor, my mom, younger brother and myself. This is the first time we have had him out by ourselves, and he asked several people (women, mostly, haha), “Let me test your brain.” So these poor women did what he asked, put their arm out in front of them and let him push down on it. It would be strong. Then, with his quavery voice and shaking hand (a side effect of some his meds, we think), he’d say, “Now think of something really bad, negative, something you don’t like. And keep me from pushing your arm.”
So these ladies would smile uneasily, and kind of laugh, and then my dad would push on their arm and this same arm would go down like the Titanic.
I am not kidding. The arm my dad tested would sink down and the look on the ladies’ faces would change from “why am I letting this weird old man do this to me?” to “what did this weird old man just do to me?” I remember this man very well.
I remember this man who could correct a problem with the nervous system with one adjustment. This man who helped countless people with their health and other issues they had. There is not a week that goes by that someone doesn’t share with me a story of my dad, sharing his wealth and his talent. One story came from a favorite patient. She cried when she heard my dad’s diagnosis, and told me of my dad’s kindness. She said that she was at a local fast food restaurant, and my dad was in the drive-thru while she was inside. She heard my dad ask the young lady at the drive-thru why she was working again (she must have been there more than usual), and she told my dad she was working over time to pay for her son a bicycle for Christmas.
My patient, with tears in her eyes, said that my dad gave this woman a $100 bill and told her to stop working so much and buy her son that bicycle.
This is the Dad I want to remember. Not the one that this vicious disease has made him, this “Pick’s” disease. I want to remember the dad that forgave me for failing clinic and made it possible for me to graduate on time. I want to remember the Dad that taught me how to take care of patients and to put them first. I want to remember the Dad that let me travel with him all over the world, to Australia, to Europe, to Mexico and Canada. The Dad that was my hero, could solve my problems with a hug and a word.
He is still my hero. On the positive side, this disease has allowed him to really enjoy our kids; I watch him with them, throwing a ball or batting a balloon, and my heart swells more than I can stand. Caboose said to me the other night, “Papaw is going to love seeing me today, Mama.”
Yes, my dad might not remember me or my brothers, but the Lord has allowed him his grands. And I love it.
Because I choose to focus on the positive. My dad might be weak, but his thoughts can make him strong. And he will always be my hero, my Positive.