We're approaching the one-year anniversary of Cliff's four-way bypass open heart surgery. Our lives will never be the same as before. Trust me on this.
We already realized our time on earth was short, but this confirmed it. We had already agreed between us that time is more precious than money. But we didn't really know it in our bones until the fateful day of Cliff's surgery.
Cliff never works overtime now when it's offered. Even though he'd be making over $30 an hour. Because money isn't that important. If he suggests that he might work overtime, I remind him, "You'll be sorry". And he agrees, once again, that time is more important than money.
I do everything in my power to keep his diet healthy. In fact, at our last visit to his cardiologist we were asked why he was losing weight.
"Weight watchers?" the nurse asked.
"Nope," I answered, pointing to myself. "Me watcher."
"Then I wish you'd come and help some of our other patients," she said, smiling.
And she told me about one lady, living alone, who had her heart bypass a year ago.
"She's worse now than she was before surgery," the nurse said. "She lives alone and won't walk, and has basically given up."
She and the doctor shared with us how most patients refuse to quit smoking, refuse to exercise, and refuse to eat properly.
Cliff and I walk a half-hour every day in the pasture. He works out in the weight room at work, on his break-time. He is determined to stay healthy. And I'm determined to keep him that way, as long as I can.
I am now so thankful that I insisted we re-finance the place so he could build his shop, because that's where he spends most of his time when he isn't working or sleeping; he loves it.
I'm so thankful that I insisted he get XM radio, although he didn't have a clue what it was when I suggested it. Because now he can listen exclusively to the kind of music he enjoys (with no commercials), and he loves every minute of it. (And I'm thankful that our son helped me figure out how to get it.)
I'm thankful that I urged him to buy that Honda Gold Wing he wanted so badly, because it was such a big incentive in his recovery... and the number one reason he started working out after his surgery. He wanted to have the strength to handle it again.
I'm glad I talked him into trying a different, more expensive type of hearing aid. Because now he isn't left out of conversations, and he isn't treated as though he's retarded just because he can't hear.
I want you all to remember than life is short. If you can help someone you love achieve their dreams and pursue happiness, do it now. Tomorrow isn't guaranteed.
If you'd like to see the start of Cliff's heart surgery adventure, click HERE. If you want to go through the whole operation and aftermath, just click on the upper right-hand portion of the entry where it says "Wednesday, April 19", then to the next post and the next until you've seen it all. As far as I'm concerned, it's a story of God's grace.
And a wakeup call.