The VOICE of Inspiration

By Don Lindsey

In my life, I’ve been very fortunate to have the parents that I do.  I’ve talked about it in a past column but this week, I was shown just how lucky I am and was reminded of why it is so important not to take a single day for granted.

Thursday evening, my father came to me and said he needed to go to the hospital due to shortness of breath and chest pains.  Immediately, I panicked.  I have been trying to get him to go in to have this checked out for a few weeks but being stubborn, he thought he could wait until he saw his new heart doc on Monday.

My mind went to the worst place possible and I was afraid that I could lose him.

He’s 85 now, and while he’s in better physical shape than I’ve ever been in, he’s had some heart troubles in the past.  As we get older, our life spans do not lengthen and when the doctor at the emergency department said he’d have to stay, I got even more concerned.  For the most part, I was able to conceal the concern and got him settled into his room.  As I drove home for the night, I couldn’t stop praying for him to be ok.  I reached out to my church’s prayer team and anyone I could and asked for prayers.

The next day, the concern got even worse.  The cardiologist assigned to him worried that he could have blockages that would require surgery and would know more after a heart catherization.  I freaked out.  How could he survive a major surgery like that at his age?  How would I explain this to my mom who turned 86 on the same day?  I prayed some more as I drove back home and thankfully was able to give her the news, calm her down and then get her to the hospital to see my father without melting down emotionally.

It was a heck of a way to spend her birthday, being pushed around in a wheelchair all day while we chased my dad around the hospital for testing that he was having done, but the results were music to our ears.  He didn’t have any blockages and was most likely getting the pain from high blood pressure.  We still have a couple other concerns but he’s home now, happy, resting and watching football with my mother next to him, just as happy that he’s home.

The whole incident left me grateful that I have my parents.  I know that it’s possible that I will have to say goodbye as we all do at some point and I dread the thought.  I’ve seen my wife and her family lose her father.  It was paralyzing then and almost 6 years later, still is in many ways.  I’ve seen both of my parents lose their mothers, and the only time I’ve seen anyone grieve more was when my mother had to try and process my brother’s passing.  Add to that seeing my friends go through losing parents and I’m not sure how I’d handle what they all had to experience.  What I do know is that I won’t handle it very well.  With that in mind, I have decided that instead of projecting that fear and having it consume me, I am going to focus on the time I have with them and the wonderful memories we’ve made as a family.

God has blessed them with long and wonderful lives.  He’s blessed me with having them in my life for my entire 43 years.  Rather than worrying about the worst that could happen, I need to focus on the positives and use this close call as a reminder to cherish every second I have with them.


Don Lindsey is a follower of Christ, son, husband, father, and a survivor.  Originally from Dayton Ohio, and resident of Apopka for six years, Don sees his life as a dedication to his wife, parents, children, and community.

12 COMMENTS

  1. Oh Donny, you are so right. May Papa God continue to bless you and your family with many opportunities of love. Your brother in Jesus, Chaz

  2. Donnie, I read your article above, and first off let me say, I did not know you were 43, as I look at your photo you appear to be much younger than 43, so you must have found the fountain of youth when you moved to Florida. Could you show me where it is? LOL Donnie, I am so thankful your dad’s trip to the hospital turned out okay, and that he did not have any blockages. That is truly a blessing at his age of 85. I lost my dad when he was age 52. He was stubborn too, and had a bad cold like symptoms, which in reality, was much more and was pneumonia, and he put off going to the emergency room, as we tried to get him to go, as he had an appointment with his heart doctor coming up in TWO WEEKS and said he would wait until then…….

  3. My mother tried to get me to go with her and my dad to his heart doctor’s appointment, but being younger and stupid, no, I wanted to go over to my friend’s house, as she had gotten a new pet, a raccoon, and that is what I wanted to do. My mother drove my dad to the doctor, and right before arriving there, my dad laid back and slumped over, and his eyes went back into his head. My mother left him in the car, ran into the doctor’s office, and the doctor ran out there, and said, “OMG what has happened to you?” He then called for an ambulance and he went into the hospital, he had fluid built up on his lungs, was drowning from the fluid, went into a coma, then had a stroke, this on a Monday, and never came back out of the coma, and died on a Thursday. We stayed there at the hospital as much as we could, my mother, my husband- to- be, and myself. It was a total shock to me, when told that he had died, and I did not handle it well, at all myself. In fact, I went hysterical, and my mother had to search for a all night drug store and get something over the counter to calm me down. I will always regret going over to my friend’s house to see a raccoon, of all things, instead of going to the doctor with my mom and dad.

  4. Thank you for your comment Mia and am so sorry for your loss. This last week has awakened my need to make sure that every moment with my parents counts.

    And, yes I’m 43, 44 in a week and have always look a little younger than I am. I get that from my dad, he does not look 85 and shocks everyone every time he tells them his age. If your looking for the fountain of youth, the you may want to start in the Dayton Ohio area, that’s were we’re from ha ha. God bless!

    -Donnie

  5. I lost my mom at age 86 plus. She was only a little over 3 months from actually turning 87. She too, had bad cold like symptoms, that she had been fighting off. She had told me,” if I live through this bad cold, I will be so happy, I won’t know what to do.” I told her,” you will feel better when it warms up”, as it was then, the month of Feb. and she had been to the doctor. This conversation we had was outside of the CVS uptown on Main St., where I had ran inside to get her some cough syrup for her. Less than a week later, on a Friday morning about 11:00, I went by her house, found the window shades still down, the newspaper in the driveway still, the mail in her mailbox ,and her cats meowing wanting fed. I went into house with my key, after I couldn’t get her to the door, and went down the dark hallway, and found her dead in bed. It was a terrible shock to me. It took me several years, as I couldn’t even talk to anyone about her death, as I would bust out crying. It did get easier, after several years passed. This year, she will be dead 12 years, and it still hurts, and always will. You have to accept it, though, eventually, as one person, at the time of my mother’s death told me, it is the process of life, but that didn’t help me through it at the time, but that is what it is, the process of life. I also had found my uncle dead in the floor, when we went to visit him in Winter Haven, with my mother. We couldn’t get him to the door, and I looked through the window, and we saw him on the floor. I also was with my mother, when my grandfather died in front of us, in the hospital, so I am a little freaky about the subject of death after these happenings I am telling you about.

  6. My husband’s mother had 4 blockages to her heart. She suffered a heart attack, when she tried to take her blood pressure at Albertson’s blood pressure machine. A man found her hooked to the machine, and slumped back, unconscious and turning blue in the face, and told the employees and she was taken to the hospital by ambulance, and then flown by helicopter to the bigger hospital in Orlando. They did the surgery, took leg veins to by- pass the blockages, put in an artificial heart valve, and she was in there quite awhile, then transferred to a rehab hospital in Orlando, then a nursing home for awhile, and then she was back out. She later was in a car wreck, when the lady she was riding with had a run- in with a big truck, and she suffered a leg injury, but that could have been much worse. She is still living, but has other problems now. The hospital surgeons did save her life though, as she would not have survived those blockages without surgery, not 4 blockages that were almost closed off.

  7. I just recently learned the news that my only surviving aunt has heart blockages too, and she is 92 and she isn’t sure what to do, because they aren’t too confident to do surgery on her at her age, and she has been sick also. They are leaving it up to her, to decide what she wants to do, whether to get surgery or not.

  8. Again Donnie, I am so glad for you, that your dad’s visit to the hospital went well, and that you have the right attitude about not wasting days worrying, and to cherish every moment. Good for you Donnie, and God bless you and your family!

  9. Dayton, Ohio?… Oh okay, I NEED to check that place out, if it keeps you looking that young at 43…LOL I know where not to go to live, and that is Las Vegas, Nevada…. OMG, I was out there only one week, and I could see the difference in what that dry atmosphere and harsh sun does to a person’s skin. I came back with a static electricity hairdo, and a face that was beginning to look like a mummy. No sooner than I got back home, that good ol’ Florida humidity, that everyone always curses about, refreshed my skin back to normal, and I will never complain about Florida’s humidity after seeing what Las Vegas dry atmosphere can do to a person’s complexion. I guess if I had of stayed on for another week, I would be called Mummy Mia….LOL

  10. And what I really hated when I was in Las Vegas, was that every time I walked down the hall of the hotels, and would touch a doorknob to open a door, I would get shocked by the static electricity. It is not fun to keep getting ZAPPED!

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