was this weekend. I wanted to share with you what I read.
Dr. Leavens, Chief of Neurosurgery at MD Anderson is who he was to his colleagues, Milam to anyone else…. but to Jim, Tom and I he was Dad. He was a multi faceted person. I had no idea how accomplished he was until I was an adult which is a testimony to his humility. I am going to tell you a bit about what it was like to be his child.
Some of the most cherished memories I have are when Dad spent time with me alone…but I want to tell you of one specific time.
I was about 7 or 8 years old and Dad had promised to take me to Astroworld the next day. That was a big deal when you were a child! My room was located right across the hall way from my parents and the reason that is relevant to this story is because when the phone would ring in the middle of the night.. I heard it. Anyone in the medical profession knows what this means. He was getting a call from the hospital about one of his patients and usually that also meant he had to leave. That is exactly what happened that night. I heard him get up, get dressed and leave. My heart sank. But as a child, all I could think of was myself. So as the sun rose, I waited as long as I could before bursting into their bedroom and literally jumping on top of Dad, reminding him of his promise. He could have easily and understandably told me no. Most parents would have, but he did not. As tired as I now realize that he must have been.. he got up and we spent the whole day together at the theme park.
Another more recent story.
Dad loved to build things. He came to our farm and helped us build the pasture fence. I left him there once to run an errand. When I came back I found him chatting with a man. When I approached and the man introduced himself as one of my neighbors, I said, “I see you met my Dad.” His reply… “Your Dad??”.. he questioned, “he told me he was the hired help!”
Dad taught us how to swim, including Emily and Joy. Together we learned how to snorkel, scuba dive, sail, snow ski, mountain climb, play musical instruments, and another favorite memory was our telescope nights. He taught me about God. He taught me to be honest, hard working and that it was a privilege to experience and learn new things. He also showed me the only way to really leave a foot print on this earth was to be a blessing to others.. just like he was.
After the service we went back to his home. It was calm and relaxing..just the way he would have wanted it. My oldest brother handed my other brother and I a letter Dad wrote to us. I will cherish this letter for the rest of my life...and pray that when my days are near, I can do this for my children as well.