The week I dread all year is here. Tomorrow will mark the four year date of when I received the frantic call from Lance telling me that something had happened to Dad and I needed to get to Florida as quickly as possible. I remember I couldn’t get to the airport fast enough, dropping everything I was doing and heading to Sky Harbor Airport, without even a toothbrush in hand. I remember that day, and the days to follow like they were yesterday – but yet it feels as though I’ve aged a hundred years since then. Whoever said “time heals” certainly wasn’t referring to me, because time hasn’t healed and time hasn’t helped. The only thing that “time” has done is remind me every day when I go to pick up the phone and call my Dad, that he isn’t here. Well, not here physically, but I know HE IS HERE…with me each and every moment of EACH AND EVERY DAY! Dad is the angel on my shoulder and will be there always.
I could have never prepared myself for what I witnessed when I arrived at the hospital. Dad had more tubes in his body than I could count, only breathing because a machine was making him and lying motionless in the Neuro ICU at St. Joseph’s Hospital. Yet he looked so healthy, like he was going to jump out of the bed at any minute. As I held his hand that entire night, praying for a miracle; in my heart, I knew that God had already decided He needed an angel that day and taken him. My life was forever changed that day and has definitely taught me to treasure your life and the life of those around you because you just never know when that last day will be yours.
Dad, as you over watch me, I just ask that you will continue to lead me in this mission that I know is your doing. The Joe Niekro Foundation has YOU all over it, I’m just the one walking the path. But, as you know, we are changing lives every day and continuing to STRIKEOUT the enemy (aneurysm). This foundation has led me to stronger walks in life I didn’t know existed and I know its all your doing. I will continue this mission and won’t stop…we will WIN THIS FIGHT. I love you Dad and miss you like crazy!