Father’s Day is supposed to be a celebration honoring fathers. After all, they are responsible for creating 1/2 of you. But, for some reason, praise is given out by the truckloads to mothers. Not that I have anything against mothers or at least good mothers, but I sometimes wonder why one half of the responsible party for giving us life seems to be disregarded.
My father was born a very long time ago – 1913, to be exact. He saw a lot of life in his 77 years. He was a very enterprising man and seemed fearless in the things he set his mind to. I loved him dearly and admired him greatly. We didn’t always see eye-to-eye on everything but that was just during my teenage years and completely understandable. Parents can be so parenty.
He had lived through the Great Depression and Civil Rights movement. He had seen a lot of bad things and experienced his fair share of unfortunate events but through them all, he persevered. The year my father turned 52, I was born. While my father did the things you expected fathers to do, he didn’t do the things some kids would expect. He didn’t teach me to ride a bike. My older brother did that. What my father excelled at was providing for his family. As a child, I was thankful that I had a brand new bike complete with a blue glitter banana seat and a basket to put my Barbie dolls, plenty of good food to eat and a roof over my head. He also bought me a blue and white Smith Corona typewriter and gave me the great advice that if I learned how to type that I would always have a job. I love being a journalist.
My father was also a great cook. One of his jobs way before I was born was working on the railroad as a chef. The food for holidays was great because Dad cooked.
My dad represented strength. He was an entrepreneur and had his own advertising specialties firm. My dad also had Type 2 Diabetes. This disease can rob people of so many things – eyesight, limbs and life. Growing up, I didn’t know my father had this horrible disease. I just knew there was this little vial on the door in the refrigerator. I never touched it because I knew it wasn’t mine. I never heard my father discuss his health issues. Back then, people didn’t discuss that, or at least they didn’t with their children.
It hurt me deeply when my father died of Type 2 Diabetes. He was only 77 years old. Watching him slip away in a hospital intensive care ward was the hardest thing for me to see. He didn’t get to see me get married. But, then again, he didn’t see me get divorced either. He didn’t see me become a Type 2 diabetic and rid myself of the horrible disease through adopting a vegan diet. Ultimately, the thing that bothers me the most is that he didn’t get to see me succeed at the things I wanted to do. I want to work to ensure that others do not suffer from Type 2 diabetes and lose their loved ones to this ugly disease. Type 2 Diabetes is out of control and is a global health issue. By making a simple diet change, one can make great strides in improving their health.
I wish my father had lived longer. If he were alive today, he would be celebrating 103 years of life. As I reflect on all the time I spent with my father, I think the thing that sticks out in my mind is my father telling me not to be afraid to try something new.
I would encourage all to try something new – adopting a vegan diet can add years to your life and life to your years. What you do with those years are up to you.
If you are a Type 2 diabetic or know someone who is, I would highly recommend ordering the book “Dr. Neal Barnard’s Program for Reversing Diabetes, The Proven System For Reversing Diabetes.”
Originally published June 21, 2015 on The Vegan Voice. This story has been modified and updated to reflect new information.
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