Today is my Dad's birthday. He would have been 76 today.
I am a your typical Daddy's girl. Most girls played with Barbie Dolls. I was a tomboy, big surprise if you know me. I played with Tonka Trucks and watched football with my Dad. He is a big part of who I am today. He passed away on June 12, 2003, after a brief battle with diabetes. He also had a couple of heart attacks and a stroke. I remember one of the last times I saw him he was overweight, still smoking (even after his first heart attack he still picked up the cigarettes) and probably not checking his blood sugar. He was eating a HUGE piece of chocolate cake and when I asked him about eating that he said he wanted to live life the way he wanted to. In some ways I agree, but living the way he wanted actually shortened his life, in my opinion.
Most people don't like to go to the doctor, and especially in these times, with no health insurance that is still true, but what are the two most important things in your life? Your health and your family. I can't tell you how much you take your health for granted until you have a disease like cancer invade your body. Cancer is an overproduction of cells, I always knew I was an over achiever, but seriously do I have to be that much of one??!!
Now that I am in remission I don't take my health for granted at all. I try to eat right, although in the last week I haven't been as good as I should be. I should not be eating at fast food restaurants, but it is a quick and cheap way to get your meal, especially if you are hungry. I should be at the gym more, but I just started this cool new job and I have been busy helping get a studio set up and getting audio clips ready, in addition to all the other stuff I do in my life. I REALLY should be back on the Metagenics First Line Therapy plan. Writing down the food that I eat and really really watching what I eat (but those Buffalo Wild Wing deliveries to the station are so hard to resist.) and going to the gym at least 3 times a week should be what I am doing, but I am not. I realize that it is difficult for everyone to do the important things like these, eat right, exercise and live healthy, but if you don't what are your options? You could be like my Dad, who only got to see his first grandchild one time.
I think about my Dad almost every day. He is the most important man in my life, even before Doug, my fiance. Family, that is what is important. Family doesn't have to be someone you are related to, it can be a close friend or co workers. I have my family, my brother and his wife, their son, and my mom, they are my relatives, but I do have an extended family. People that I work with, or have worked with, or just have become a really good friend that I consider family.
Now I picture my life without any single one of those people, and I go back to the question: What are the 2 most important things in your life, your health, and if you tell me you can't afford to go to the doctor, I am going to tell you that you can't afford not to. I have great insurance, and I have substantial medical bills, and I would rather be broke than dead. And your family, now imagine you are Jimmy Stewart in one of my favorite movies of all time "It's A Wonderful Life" what would their life be like if you were gone, or if you didn't exist at all. Pretty sad if you ask me.
So on my Dad's birthday I would like to thank him, for making me the person I am today. I started a new job on a new internet radio station, and I am pretty sure that he had a hand in steering me towards that. I am hoping that he is looking down upon me and smiling, seeing what kind of person his daughter has become, and I hope he is proud.
Happy Birthday Dad.
Mel is the producer of The Vic McCarty show on wmktthetalkstation.com. Listen to her live Monday thru Friday 10am-Noon.
Mel also produces The Maria Shaw Show on empoweradio.com Monday thru Friday 12noon-3pm