God bless you.
There was something delightful and frightful about the severe
thunderstorm that started my Father's Day weekend Friday.
The delightful thing is that I love serenades of thunderstorm and the
rhapsodies that the rains play upon my roof and against my window pane.
I love the pretty pictures from the sparkling diamond-like droplets of
rain that drizzle down the window panes and windshields. I love those
super-sensational summer rains.
I love the smell of rain in the balmy air just before its drops pelt my face
and its torrents ripple down my nose, jaws and chin. I love the pulsation of the
pelting. It is stimulating and invigorating.
That was the delightful thing about the thunderstorms that rocked the
Chicago area on Friday.
But there are also something quite frightful about that same delightful
summer rain. My neighborhood experienced a 4.5-hour power outage. That was
the first blackout I had experienced since my Jan. 29 open-heart surgery to have
a heart pump implanted to give me the life-saving pumping power my defective
mitral valve and left ventricle could no longer provide for the proper circulation of
blood to keep me alive until I get my new heart.
Once that Jan. 29 surgery made me a battery-operated, bionic man outside
the house, and a house-current-powered man when I go to bed, a power outage
became one of my most dangerous enemies.
The bedside power console that keeps me alive when I sleep went out. So
did the bedside charger of the 2-hour batteries that enable me to enjoy mobility
and outside the house.
Not only did the improved battery lives provide me comfort and confidence.
My eight batteries could thus sustain me for almost three days, and we've never
been without power for tmore than a day in the 34 years that my wife Joyce and I
have lived in Hazel Crest. But even better was the fact the blackout lasted just four
and a half hours.
Thank you, Jesus. When we heard on the newscasts that other areas were
hit much harder, with high winds uprooting trees and destroying property, and
downing power lines that would leave homes without electricity "for several days,"
Joyce and I thanked God that we weren't so unfortunate.
The return of electricity to our home Friday evening was welcomed. Then on
Saturday, my middle daughter, Noelle, let her nine-year-old son Caleb, my
youngest grandson, spend the night with Joyce and me.
For whatever reason, Caleb and I had the best bonding time that we have
ever had during the many times that he has stayed overnight with Joyce and me.
On Saturday, we went to a small lake to watch people fish and allow Caleb to
throw stones into the water for the first time in his life and to se those rocks
cause the water to erupt in splashes. Then we went to the grocery store for me to
buy some fruit and medicine and for him to get some candy.
Joyce and I then took him to an ice cream shop to buy and eat ice cream
there. I had a cup of the soft-serve vanilla ice cream. He and Joyce had one-scoop
cones of strawberry. Then we went to a park when he ran around and played.
Before home, we stopped at a drive-in to get some chicken.
That chicken was the smallest and most over-cooked chicken we've ever
had anywhere. But we salvaged what was left of the day when Caleb and I stayed
up until 3:30 a.m. to watch movies on our home DVD player. He loved "Avatar" and
a replay of the Laker-Celtic NBA championship-deciding Game 7. Then we
watched half of a Star Wars episode before I demanded that both of us go to
bed at 3:30 a.m.
The highlight of our late-night movie-watching, however, occurred at 12:30
a.m., when Caleb gave me my very first "Happy Father's Day" greeting.
"Grandpa," he said.
"Huh," I said.
"I love you," he said.
I love you, too," I said.
Wow! What joy he gave me with that affirmation of fervent affection!
Then Sunday morning, Joyce us a breakfast of the best pancakes and
bacon that we had ever eaten. Afterward, Caleb and I kneeled for prayer in the
living room. What a most enjoyable Father's Day for me, spending much of it
with my grandson, Caleb!
Meantime, to all you other good, dedicated fathers and grandfathers of
the world, "Happy Father's Day."
God bless you.