Back in November, my family received upsetting news. My father was diagnosed with an advanced cancer, to which we were told grim outcomes. As I was flying down to the hospital to see him, my mother and brother told Daddy the news, but it did not register with him in his weakened state. God chose me to be the person who he received that information from, and in that moment, I knew I wanted to give him as much of my encouragement and support as I could, until prayerfully, he got to the other side of this diagnosis. As “Daddy’s girl,” I dropped everything and have been in south Georgia and north Florida until recently.
Throughout these few months, Daddy has shown great strength. Battling cancer is not the first time I have seen it, but it was a reminder—a testament to persevere. The nurses would often call Daddy a “tough old bird,” but back home, we refer to this strength and tenacious spirit as “country boy strong.” (The term describes a physical strength attained from farm work, of which my daddy did plenty, as well as a mental toughness. Often times, the “boy” referenced by this phrase does not look like your typical strongman.) The toll the cancer had taken on Daddy’s body certainly had him looking far from strong, but he endured this challenge with great fortitude.
God has answered many prayers during Daddy’s health journey, and we continue to lean on His restorative power. The good news is that Daddy’s cancer is in remission, but he is currently on the mend from an extended hospitalization due to late-stage complications of treatment. He has a long road ahead of him until he feels like himself again, but he is fighting hard to fully enjoy the countryside again soon.