Tuesday, August 16, 2011

I got lucky, My hero never disappointed me.

This will not be my normal inane chatter.  This one will be about my hero that I never had to turn on the news and find out the things he did wrong, and although he did mess up at times, he owned his mistakes and showed me how to learn from them.  I'm talking about James Shelby Carner, my dad. 

My father only had a high school education, but good grief was he smart.  Why I didn't reword my algebra problems to talk about corn and fertilizer needed and go to him with them I'll never know.  I learned how to be a good husband, a good father, and a good person from him.  I didn't always take his advice, but who does? 

When I was in the third grade my father collapsed to the floor one night.  I was stunned.  I had never ever seen my father fall, even earlier that winter when he was on crutches when a tractor tire had fallen on him.  I learned that night that he had guillain barre syndrome.  Basically his nervous system lost the ability to work.  He was paralyzed from the neck down and it was moving slowly to his heart and lungs. 

I never knew how bad it really was until I was older.  They moved him from Princeton to Paducah one night and placed him on oxygen.  He was having trouble breathing and was put in ICU with four other patients.  He told me he asked the nurse if he was going to make it, and she said he would be fine.  A few days later the nurse admitted to my father of the five in ICU she thought he would be the first to go.  Someone flatlined in ICU and as Dad watched them wheeled away he simply asked God to heal him and he would work as hard as he had to rehabilitate himself.  I forget if two or three people died that night in the ICU, my father made it through the night and started the road to recovery.  The doctor moved him into a private room and said, "Where you go from here is up to you and your God."  Three weeks later my father was brought home in a wheelchair.  He was disgusted because the doctor wouldn't give him back his license until he could walk without crutches.  Three weeks after that he walked into the doctors office pitched the crutches on the doctor's desk and asked him if he could get his licence before he got pulled over for driving without one. 

He has had nerve problems ever since.  He has terrible cramps because of the damage, which made farming an interesting experience, but he never complained.  My sister's apartment burned and he had to move things out of there a few years back.  I got into town as quick as I could to help him.  We carried out everything from her second story apartment and finally after 6 or so hours, in the summer heat, coughing and black as coal from the charred filled rooms, my father said, I've done all I can do.  I was two seconds from telling him I was shot.  He was 65 and I was 32. 

My father has helped raise his grandchildren as if they were his own, and never complained.  He just does what has to be done.  Thank you dad.  Thank you for showing me what it means to be a man, husband, father, and a friend.  I love you.

Ok, sorry for being off topic on that one, but this blog is about me getting things out, and I wanted that out there.  Til next time . . .whenever that is . . . .


1 comment:

  1. Enjoyed it. My dad was the same way.

    My dad made everything look so simple and straightforward that I was shocked by the realities of adulthood, and have remained impressed by his attitude in the face of real life.