Burgers with the Best

Last week, my Dad and I stopped at Wendy’s to grab some lunch. We ate burgers and fries and Dad sipped his Sprite, while noticing all the children in the restaurant. It takes him longer to finish a meal than it used to and while I waited, I couldn’t help but remember a couple of other special times spent with my Dad.

As a little girl attending a private Christian school with my sisters in Roanoke, Virginia, I looked forward to report card time. My parents would always reward us if we brought home all A’s and B’s, and S’s for satisfactory behavior with dinner at our favorite greasy spoon ~ Kenney’s on Williamson Road.

They were famous for dipping their burgers in a secret sauce, but we really liked the chicken. Mom recalls that the place was so greasy, you would slide across the carpet. But we didn’t seem to care. For us, it was a special treat.

As a teenager, one of my fondest memories was date night with my Father. He would take each of his daughters out on a date to spend one-on-one time with us. I remember eating dinner at Wendy’s one evening and Dad decided to give me some advice on how guys should treat me on a date. I should expect to be treated with respect and he showed me what that looked like. What I remember most about that evening was how my Father saw me ~ as a young woman.  

And now we’re sitting in a Wendy’s after his doctor’s appointment and a discussion of prostate cancer treatment. I don’t know at what point the roles reversed, but now I’m asking all the questions and Dad is just sitting there nodding his head and smiling. The nurse gives me five pages of information with important things highlighted so I’ll schedule a bone scan, a body scan and other tests.

What comes to mind is just how much he trusts me. He looks to me for answers and direction, just as I looked to him for answers and direction as a child and a teenager. He used to wait on me to finish eating; now I wait on him. He used to clean up my messes; now I clean up his.

As my Father scrapes up the remaining ketchup with his fries, I intercept the plastic container that holds the ketchup and pull it from his mouth. He gets confused with plastic containers and mistakes them for something edible. His hamburger keeps falling apart and I try to reassemble it but decide to let him eat it however he wants since there is an unlimited supply of napkins nearby.

He has no idea he’s been given a diagnosis of prostrate cancer. If we told him, he would forget it. He doesn’t remember the doctor appointments, the biopsy or the antibiotic shots. He endures doctor visits, CT scans and blood work with a smile on his face. He just trusts that all of that is necessary and part of us taking care of him. He trusts us implicitly. And that is a very humbling responsibility.

Last night when I was helping him to bed, he said, “Thank you for taking such good care of me.”

And my thought? I learned from the best.

2 thoughts on “Burgers with the Best”

  1. Angie, I thank the Lord that his love was sent to you through your loving dad and that you now reciprocate that loving spirit through the care you provide for Jack. You learned the lessons of love well.

  2. Happy New Year Angie!
    Touching blog and sweet pictures. Every day God has a lesson for us and it is like an anointing oil when we have that “aha moment” and understand God’s purpose for our training ground. For several years my siblings and I took care of my Mother after a stroke left her paralyzed. I can remember asking God why He allowed her to suffer for so long. It was especially difficult for her because she had a healthy clear mind but was sad that her children had to bath and diaper her. After my Mother went to be with the Lord …it was then that I realized God was using those years caring for my Mom to change me. You can’t go through what you are going through with your Dad and not be a changed person. You are earning many jewels for your crown! You will hear “well done good and faithful servant”!!!
    Blessings and strength
    Nancy

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