"Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours." (Mark 11:24 NIV)

Bright and early, I awakened, knowing something wasn't quite right. It was Monday morning. Not a typical Monday for Floridians but almost like the cold day you hear about.

My mind was clear. It was four in the morning and I knew I had to do this. My dad had been told by two specialist that he would require surgery. He is 89 years old and had been told he could die on the operating table. I was sure he was awake also. I wondered what he was thinking.

I sat on the side of my bed and lit a cigarette. He is to see the surgeon today that would tell us again what his chance of survival will be. I already heard and researched the statistics. I went on the Mayo Clinic site and my cousin who also has an aneurysm, helped me learn a lot.

Aneurysm. I never even heard of this word in my family. The only people I ever heard had died from an aneurism to the brain, sudden death. When my dad first told me I was skeptical. He had been told his was in his back and was almost 5 centimeters wide. When he explained this to me, his voice sounded dead. Not my daddy who laughs and jokes and loves to go fishing but a man telling his daughter that he thought he was going to die.

I felt so hurt, then I felt selfish. He has taught me so much and would make a marvelous angel. Why do I not want him to go?

Because he is mine and I love him. I will keep him with me as long as I can and even after death, I will talk to him and love him.

This man raised many children, some who are not his, but he loved us all as his own. I remember as a child, wondering why he didn't go to church with us as he was plowing the fields and feeding us and I didn't understand but I do now.

This man that for many years didn't mean a hill of beans to me because I thought I was smarter than he. Years later, I learned how wrong I really was.

We cried when he sold the mule to buy a tractor, then he made my brother Terry give us all rides so we would shut up. This was in central Florida, near Dade City, and we really did go into town once a week and he would let us all get a candy bar for the ride home.

One little man who wears a cowboy hat to this day with pride. He is one of Florida's oldest living, real cowboys. He tended cattle, gave them medication as any vet would do , for many years. He retired from the Carpenter's Home here in Lakeland. He would still go back to work if someone would hire him at his age. He doesn't even know what work ethic means.

I went to church with him to watch him get formally saved and baptized and cried all the way through it. He was in his sixties but has always been a Christian as far back as I can remember. He saw Margaret, his love, his wife, going to church and decided to give it a try.

I used to go to house and I know it got on his nerves in a way. I had three small children and he didn't know what to do to help. He always did what he could. He helped me with money when I know he didn't have it to give. I never forgot. We just get side tracked somehow.

Then came his years of misery. He lost his wife of twenty years, Margaret passed from colon cancer. He loved her children as his own and ended up raising her two grandsons, due to another tragedy but he stood strong. Margaret's daughter was murdered and he took on the responsibility of her two boys and enjoyed it.

I begged my God for just another day with my earthly daddy. I realized it might be selfish but I know he has a lot more to do. My brother Mo has just come back to our family. He hasn't been around our dad as long as we have and might benefit from the wisdom.

I guess I prayed in between getting a shower and getting dressed to go to the final answer, the vascular surgeon who was to perform the surgery. I thanked God for this miracle and knew everything would be okay. People all over the US and in Australia were praying and just to be on the safe side, I had called Silent Unity, a healing ministry and felt the power of God in the lady's word's as we prayed together. I told Daddy, I saw and felt a light so don't worry anymore. The power of prayer is phenomenal!

My sister, Barbara, picked me up at 7:30. As planned. At first, I was afraid she would be worried but she was okay. She had awakened at 1:00 Am and found it hard to go back to sleep for the anticipation and dread of the day ahead. I felt a peace.

We got to my daddy's around 8:30 or so, the appointment was at nine in Sebring, approximately ten miles away. I am not sure about the time. I know most were afraid and I was one of them. I have never had to face this situation before. I smoked incessantly. His ex wife showed up and we were to go with her. I wasn't sure about that situation. Jackie and I had not spoken in a few months and another amazing thing happened. We all seemed to forget about the past and just focused on the moment.

Jackie has helped my dad quite a bit in the past couple years since they have been divorced. She was quite a few years younger than he was and being a nurse, that is always a good thing. I am glad that they are friends.

We made small talk on the way there. Nobody seemed to know exactly where the building was and we finally found this doctor's office.

It was impressive! A replica of an older era, Victorian! Lovely decorating and the people were nice. I went outside to smoke and say a last minute prayer. I knew he was there. All I asked was for a few more days. Just a few more days, Lord.

The rest is history! We waited for daddy's name to be called (after filling out miles and miles of paperwork) the surgeon came in, started talking. I asked him about the Endovascular surgery that is so new but not invasive and would be good for a person of my dad's age. He doesn't do this procedure yet.

He asked if I smoked, also my dad's ex-wife. He considered us future customers. He was a little hoity toity, as my mama would say but I could tell he knew his stuff.

Then he became clear and the Lord spoke His words.................."The magic word is not 5 centimeters, it depends on the person." I asked him about Daddy's aneurysm size and he said, " It is 4.9." He had already checked for pulse and everything in my dad's body. He said to me and my family, "Go home, stop worrying. Enjoy your family. Go fishing. See me in a year." Then he explained that it can grow but if he keeps his blood pressure down, it won't grow fast. I had already researched, which, by the way, comes in handy.

All I have said for the past week was boy oh boy. Now all I can say is "Thank Him who made me and gave me my daddy back." Next year we will face this again but I wouldn't be a bit surprised if this aneurysm hasn't grown at all or completely disappeared.

Prayer can take care of anything. Sometimes we forget to pray. As long as we remember to thank Him who has given us life and all that we are from the beginning to the end.

My daddy laughs again. This is my thanks. He's a little old but people live to be over one hundred today, I keep reminding him. He is sharp as a tack. He still likes to dance............

One thing my sister Barbara and I have learned from this. We don't have our daddy forever. We know we have to daily spend time with him. Time to learn some of the things we didn't want to as children. Time to allow him the love and respect that he so deserves. Time for him to see that we also have grown a lot.

We have plans for she and I to go fishing with him sometime before my next doctor appointment. And her birthday is Jan 15th. Quite a special gal herself. She will be the ripe old age of 65. God is good.

by Sharlett F. Hunt