Gregory Central Inspirational Pages

Dad of the Year

Years ago

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A cold March wind danced around the dead of night in Dallas as the doctor
walked into the small hospital room of Diana Blessing.  She was still
groggy from surgery. Her husband, David, held her hand as they braced
themselves for the latest news.


That afternoon of March 10, 1991, complications had forced Diana, only
24-weeks pregnant, to undergo an emergency Cesarean to deliver couple's new
daughter, Dana Lu Blessing.


At 12 inches long and weighing only one pound nine ounces, they already
knew she was perilously premature. Still, the doctor's soft words dropped
like bombs.


"I don't think she's going to make it," he said, as kindly as he could.
There's only a 10-percent chance she will live through the night, and even
then, if by some slim chance she does make it, her future could be a very
cruel one."


Numb with disbelief, David and Diana listened as the doctor described the
devastating problems Dana would likely face if she survived.


She would never walk, she would never talk, she would probably be blind,
and she would certainly be prone to other catastrophic conditions from
cerebral palsy to complete mental retardation, and on and on.


"No! No!" was all Diana could say.


She and David, with their 5-year-old son Dustin, had long dreamed of the
day they would have a daughter to become a family of four.  Now, within a
matter of hours, that dream was slipping away.


But as those first days passed, a new agony set in for David and Diana.
Because Dana's underdeveloped nervous system was essentially 'raw,' the
lightest kiss or caress only intensified her discomfort, so they couldn't
even cradle their tiny baby girl against their chests to offer the strength
of their love. All they could do, as Dana struggled alone beneath the
ultraviolet light in the tangle of tubes and wires, was to pray that God
would stay close to their precious little girl.


There was never a moment when Dana suddenly grew stronger.  But as the
weeks went by, she did slowly gain an ounce of weight here and an ounce of
strength there.


At last, when Dana turned two months old, her parents were able to hold her
in their arms for the very first time.  And two months later, though
doctors continued to gently but grimly warn that her chances of surviving,
much less living any kind of normal life, were next to zero, Dana went home
from the hospital, just as her mother had predicted.


Five years later, when Dana was a petite but feisty young girl with
glittering gray eyes and an unquenchable zest for life. She showed no signs
whatsoever of any mental or physical impairment. Simply, she was everything
a little girl can be and more. But that happy ending is far from the end of
her story.


One blistering afternoon in the summer of 1996 near her home in
Irving, Texas. Dana was sitting in her mother's lap in the bleachers of a
local ball park where her brother Dustin's baseball team was practicing.


As always, Dana was chattering nonstop with her mother and several other
adults sitting nearby when she suddenly fell silent.


Hugging her arms across her chest, little Dana asked, "Do you smell that?"
Smelling the air and detecting the approach of a thunderstorm, Diana replied
  "Yes, it smells like rain."   Dana closed her eyes and again asked, "Do
you smell that?"   Once again, her mother replied,  "Yes, I think we're
about to get wet.  It smells like rain."


Still caught in the moment, Dana shook her head, patted her thin shoulders
with her small hands and loudly announced,  "No, it smells like Him. It
smells like God when you lay your head on His chest."


Tears blurred Diana's eyes as Dana happily hopped down to play with the
other children.  Before the rains came, her daughter's words confirmed what
Diana and all the members of the extended Blessing family had known, at
least in their hearts, all along.  During those long days and nights of her
first two months of her life, when her nerves were too sensitive for them
to touch her, God was holding Dana on His chest and it is His loving scent
that she remembers so well.


It was quiet that day, the guns and the  mortars, and land mines for some
reason hadn't been heard. The young soldier  knew it was Sunday, the holiest
day of the week. As he was sitting there, he got  out an old deck of cards
and laid them out across his bunk.

Just  then an army sergeant came in and said, "Why aren't you with the rest
of the  platoon?"

The soldier replied, "I thought I would  stay behind and spend some time
with the Lord."

The sergeant said,  "Looks to me like you're going to play cards."

The soldier said, "No, sir. You see, since  we are not allowed to have
Bibles or other spiritual books in this country, I've  decided to talk to
the Lord by studying this deck of cards."

The  sergeant asked in disbelief, "How will you do that?"

"You see the Ace, Sergeant? It reminds me  that there is only one God.

The Two represents the two parts of  the Bible, Old and New Testaments.

The Three rep! resents the  Father, Son, and the Holy Ghost.

The Four stands for the Four  Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

The Five is for the five  virgins that were ten but only five of them were

The  Six is for the six days it took God to create the Heavens  and Earth.

The Seven is for the day God rested after making His  Creation.

The Eight is for the family of Noah and his wife, their  three sons and
their wives - the eight people God spared from the flood that  destroyed the

The Nine is for the lepers that Jesus  cleansed of leprosy. He cleansed ten,
but nine never thanked Him.

The Ten represents the Ten Commandments that God handed down to Moses on
tablets  made of stone.

The Jack is a reminder of Satan, one of God's first  angels, but he got
kicked out of heaven for his sly and wicked ways and is now  the joker of
eternal hell.

The Queen stands for the Virgin  Mary.

The King stands for Jesus, for he Is the King of all  kings.

When I count the dots on all the cards, I come up with 365  total, one for
every day of the year.

There are a total of 52  cards in a deck; each is a week - 52 weeks in a

The four  suits represent the four seasons: Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter.

Each suit has thirteen cards - there are exactly thirteen weeks in a

So when I want to talk to God and thank Him, I just pull  out this old deck
of cards and they remind me of all that I have to be thankful  for."

The sergeant just stood there. After a minute, with tears in  his eyes and
pain in his heart, he said, "Soldier, can I borrow that deck of cards?"

Paul Harvey Writes:

We tried so hard to make things better for our kids that we made them worse. For my grandchildren, I'd like better.
I'd really like for them to know about hand me down clothes and homemade ice cream and leftover meat loaf sandwiches. I really would.

I hope you learn humility by being humiliated, and that you learn honesty by being cheated.
I hope you learn to make your own bed and mow the lawn and wash the car.
And I really hope nobody gives you a brand new car when you are sixteen.

It will be good if at least one time you can see puppies born and your old dog put to sleep.

I hope you get a black eye fighting for something you believe in.

I hope you have to share a bedroom with your younger brother/sister. And it's all right if you have to draw a line down the middle of the room,but when he wants to crawl under the covers with you because he's scared, I hope you let him.

When you want to see a movie and your little brother/sister wants to tag along, I hope you'll let him/her.
I hope you have to walk uphill to school with your friends and that you live in a town where you can do it safely.

On rainy days when you have to catch a ride, I hope you don't ask your driver to drop you two blocks away so you won't be seen riding with someone as uncool as your Mom.

If you want a slingshot, I hope your Dad teaches you how to make one instead of buying one.
I hope you learn to dig in the dirt and read books.

When you learn to use computers, I hope you also learn to add and subtract in your head.

I hope you get teased by your friends when you have your first crush on a boy\girl, and when you talk back to your mother that you learn what ivory soap tastes like.

May you skin your knee climbing a mountain, burn your hand on a stove and stick your tongue on a frozen flagpole.

I don't care if you try a beer once, but I hope you don't like it. And if a friend offers you dope or a joint, I hope you realize he is not your friend.

I sure hope you make time to sit on a porch with your Grandma/Grandpa and go fishing with your Uncle.

May you feel sorrow at a funeral and joy during the holidays.

I hope your mother punishes you when you throw a baseball through your neighbor's window and that she hugs you and kisses you at Hannukah/Christmas time when you give her a plaster mold of your hand.

These things I wish for you - tough times and disappointment, hard work and happiness. To me, it's the only way to appreciate life.
Written with a pen. Sealed with a kiss. I'm here for you. And if I die before you do, I'll go to heaven and wait for you.

Paul Harvey RIDDLE:

When asked this riddle, 80% of kindergarten kids got the answer, compared to 17% of Stanford University seniors.

What is greater than God, More evil than the devil, The poor have it, The rich need it, And if you eat it, you'll die?


To realize

The value of a sister

Ask someone

Who doesn't have one.

To realize

The value of ten years:

Ask a newly

Divorced couple.

To realize

The value of four years:

Ask a graduate.

To realize

The value of one year:

Ask a student who

Has failed a final exam.

To realize

The value of nine months:

Ask a mother who gave birth to a stillborn.

To realize

The value of one month:

Ask a mother

who has given birth to

A premature baby.

To realize

The value of one week:

Ask an editor of a weekly newspaper.

To realize

The value of one minute:

Ask a person

Who has missed the train, bus or plane.

To realize

The value of one-second:

Ask a person

Who has survived an accident.

Time waits for no one.

Treasure every moment you have.

You will treasure it even more when

you can share it with someone special.

To realize the value of a friend or family member: