December 2017 will be the 10th anniversary of my father's death. It's amazing how many years have passed when it seems like just yesterday.
Dad got sick after Thanksgiving in 2007. Test results at the hospital revealed he had an obstruction in his bowel most likely caused by scar tissue from a previous gall bladder surgery. Laparoscopic surgery was scheduled for the following day to remove the blockage.
I remember Dad telling me that he had upset the surgeon by asking him how many patients he had 'lost' to this type of surgery. He said that the doctor was quite offended with his question and replied 'none.' We joked about it a bit.
My mom called to say that the surgery had been moved up and I thought, "Good. Dad will feel better soon." Well, he never did get to feeling better. The surgeon was called late that night because there was concern about my father's condition. He stopped in early the next morning before leaving for his trip and said that the surgery had gone just fine and that my dad just needed fluids and rest.
We should have moved him to a different hospital that day, but we waited another day. . .then two. The hospital finally realized that the situation had turned desperate and called life flight to take him to Sayre. There it was discovered that during the laparoscopic surgery to remove the blockage, his bowel had been perforated in several locations and his body was being poisoned by itself. He spent several weeks there trying to recover from the damage, but ultimately there was no recovery. . .just final peace.
I was so angry with the surgeon. In my opinion he rushed through a surgery. He was so confident in his work that he gave the medical staff at the hospital a false impression. Then he left for VACATION! I hated him. For years I hated him. At times I told myself that he did it on purpose because my dad had offended him when he was asked how many of his patients died from this type of surgery. Then I hated him even more.
In the fall of 2015, I found my way back to church. It is hard to describe the warm fascinating feelings that moved in my body after I welcomed Jesus back into my life. There was more love and hope in my heart than I ever imagined possible. Prior to this happening, anytime I would think of my dad, the anger and hate would well up inside me. But now things were different. I realized that I had forgiven the surgeon without making the conscious effort to forgive him. Those feelings of hate were gone. Jesus had healed my heart. He showed me how to love everyone; how to forgive anyone. Truly through Him, anything is possible.
I still cry when I think of my dad. . .but that is because I miss him.