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The Day I Realized I Could Have Lost My Dad

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I can remember it like it was yesterday, the day I realized I could have lost my dad forever. I was 17 years old and I was at work just doing my thing and all of a sudden I look up and see my sister standing there with my dad’s pager in her hand. I instantly knew something was wrong.

How it all started

Earlier that day, before work, I had raced home from school like any other day and hurried in and changed my clothes to get ready to walk right back out the door to work. It wasn’t unusual for no one to be home so I didn’t think much of it. My dad would usually still be at work and my mom may have been out at the store so not seeing any cars in the driveway was normal for me.

Something Seemed Different

That day, however, there were a few things that struck me as awkward but I just went on and left for work anyway. My dads work van was in the driveway, which I believe at the time, it was a slow time at work for him so I passed that off. His pager ( yes it was in 1990s) was sitting on the counter, which I found odd. He owned his own business and that thing was glued to his hip at all times. I think he even took to bed with him at night, just in case.



I saw the pager sitting there and I couldn’t believe he didn’t have it on him. It didn’t quite hit me until I saw my sister standing there with it in her hand just looking at me like she didn’t know how to deliver the news to me. That is a day I will never forget nor will I forget how I felt when she told me.

I remember she told me “Dad has a slight case of angina and mom said not to worry. She just wanted to make sure you knew. Everything will be okay.” I wasn’t quite sure what she just said to me but the “everything will be okay” part had me feeling OKAY…until about 5 minutes later.


I stayed at work. WHY? Why didn’t I go with her? Why didn’t she tell me to come with? “Mom said everything will be okay. She said not to worry.” Too late, I was starting to worry.

I remember sitting on the floor, at work, crying. I had no idea what I was supposed to do. It hit me. My DAD had had a HEART ATTACK! My dad, at 41 years old had just suffered a heart attack. He could have died. WHY was I still at work.

My supervisor came up to me and put her arm around me and told me to go be with my family. I had no clue where the hospital was, how I was supposed to get there or what I was going to walk in to see.

I, of course, called my BFF at the time and literally drove to pick her up and the 2 of us went up to the hospital to see my dad. I needed support and my mom and sister were up at the hospital already. I’m sure it was awkward for her but she was there to support me.

We walk in there’s the damn pager, sitting at his bedside. My mom and sister had gone home for the night because “all was well”. In the time they had left and I got up there, they were making a decision to put him in ICU because the chest pains had not subsided.

When I got home and told my mom, I think that’s when things hit her. I remember her saying that when she got home and was alone, making THEIR nightly pot of coffee and he wasn’t there that night, it hit her.

After a week or so in the hospital and a little angioplasty, he made it home safe and sound. It’s now been over 25 years since that happened and I can literally explain it like it was last night.

Today, my dad is otherwise a pretty healthy 67, almost 68-year-old dude. He was, however, recently diagnosed as being pre-diabetic but we’ll take that on in a different story and finish up with this one first. I remind him and/or ask him each year if he has gone for all of his tests to make sure the ticker is still doing well.

This is WHY I Do What I Do

This brings me to WHY I do what I do. Why I am so passionate about my own health and those who I love and care for. That incident is forever an image in my mind that will continuously remind me that I don’t want my kids to go through that. It reminds me how precious our health really is and how much we take it for granted.

Once it’s gone, it is so hard to get back. I’ve watched what heart disease can do to a family. It runs deep in our family and I don’t want it to be part of mine so I do what I can every damn day to ensure my health is in check.

I get angry at times when I see those I love not really taking care of themselves or thinking they are indestructible and “that won’t happen to them” attitude. I’m here to tell you it CAN happen to anyone.

There once was a time when I had to bring my oldest daughter in to see her father on life support. “It won’t happen to me!” happened and I NEVER want to see my child go through that ever again. Not one of them. I can only imagine the hole that opened up in her heart seeing that.

These life experiences are why I reach out to help others. It’s my reason behind why I work so hard on my own health and wellness. It shouldn’t be taken for granted. I can’t NOT reach out and help someone when I see or hear they are going through health issues.

Final Thoughts

I have one thing to leave you with from this blog. If you have a hard time trying to improve your health and wellness or you suffer from some kind of health issue, I ask you to reread this and take in the emotions of what I was feeling when I went through all of this. If you do anything, try to put you and your family in that position and take that emotion and use it as a reason to work on you and your health.

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Hey there, I'm Melanie. I help women DITCH THE DIET MENTALITY and reclaim their health through mindful eating, hormone balancing, stress management, and digestive healing.

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