Staring back at me was the spitting image of my Father.
Summer 2005, Dad appeared in the mirror early one morning just days after I lost my hair. I never knew that I looked so much like my Dad. It took no make-up, wire rimmed glasses and a bald head to achieve the George Redden look. I must say it was a little shocking to go from being a fairly attractive forty-seven year old female to looking like a seventy year old man. But I proudly embraced the look. I think my Dad is a handsome man.
Chemotherapy relieved me of my hair for a season. During that time period, I began viewing lots of things from a new perspective, not just my physical appearance.
The realization that I looked like my Dad made me acutely attentive to all my Father’s likes, dislikes, traits, values and way of life. I lived with my parents during six weeks of radiation therapy in late 2005. Returning to your roots is an experience I encourage. You can learn about yourself. It is like looking at the past and the future while living in the moment.
I learned that my Dad and I like the same foods prepared the same way and we get hungry at the same time. We like the same kind of TV shows, laugh at the same things, and love to pull a harmless prank. George Redden is fiscally responsible. So am I. If he makes a commitment, you can count on him to honor it. Ditto.
My Dad loves God and his family. He reads the Bible daily and calls his five living brothers and sisters weekly. He and Mother go everywhere together. They are always doing for others. Dad is the king of the outside and Mother is the queen of the inside. They plant a garden every year and manage to keep their sizable property perfectly manicured and landscaped. I love gardening and yard work.
Yes, I am my Father’s daughter. Thankfully, he poured a ton of tough love into my upbringing. He would say, “If you are going to cry, then I’m going to give you something to cry about.” Words like that made me tougher. When you fight cancer, you have to suck it up and be tough.
George Redden instilled in me the value of a plan. He says frequently, “Make a plan and work your plan.” I made a game plan for my life a long time ago. Even though there have been a few shortfalls and moments of imperfection and disappointments, I live with no regrets and have accomplished most of my life goals. That is a good feeling when you live with stage IV breast cancer.
I am happy happy happy that my Dad is my Dad. So here is my plan, Dad….Enjoy each day, be responsible, continue to work hard, love others and let God be in charge.
Happy Father’s Day, Dad! Thanks for the good genes. We look pretty good even bald.
with - Dad - George Redden
with - my Daughter - Amanda Brown Whittenberg