As you read this, I am waiting in the hospital with Brent and my mother-in-law while my father-in-law Ron has open heart surgery. The success rate of this surgery is very high these days. The surgeon told them 99 percent successful, but Ron needs to have a valve replaced and that makes it a little trickier. He also has diabetes. The doctor still seemed very confident and told them it would be 97 percent successful. Those are very good odds, but I would be remiss if I didn’t say we were all a little nervous.
Ron never lets me take myself too seriously which is a risk you may or may not believe runs high in my life. He is a lover of Westerns and an artist deep in his soul. “Build me a swing set,” I said, and there it was. When D became a toddler, Ron drove by one day and came back later to make walls for the fort part of the set, thinking — rightly — that it wouldn’t take D long to decide he wanted to climb up there.
Remember when Grandpa Ron got trapped in the bathroom? No one got a bigger kick out of that story than he did.
And I smile when I think of Ron asleep in his chair with D. Or fixing up a swing or trampoline for Colin because he knows how much Colin loves to swing and jump. Or drinking coffee with Jeremy. Or giving Shelby a bad time.
My favorite Ron story tells a little bit on my mother-in-law, so don’t you give her a bad time. One day the whole family was going on a picnic, and like a good grandma Arlene was packing everything but the kitchen sink into the cars — chairs, cups, bars, salads, Frisbees, hot dogs, hamburgers, buns, games, etc, etc.
My father-in-law, anxious to get going, looked at her hauling another pan of something out to the car and said, “Wieners, buns, chips, Arlene. It’s a picnic.”
I just about peed in my pants.
I always think of that now when I start to sense I am getting carried away with a project. Wieners, buns, chips . . . We have everything we need.
If you are a praying person (and supposing I’m right and we all have the opportunity to speak to the King of the Universe, why wouldn’t you take the chance?), will you lift up Ron today?