Good news came today.
One of the Mankato area's celebrities, Alyssa Sandeen, got the news she'd been waiting for. A new donor heart was available, and it was going to go to her.
Now, as I write this, it's still early. It's about 3 p.m., and I was told by her father that she was heading into surgery now. Dad also told me that he'd told her there was still time for something to go wrong.
What? Something could still go wrong?
Yes. And the fact that he had the courage to tell her that is the mark of amazing father.
The Sandeen family has been through a lot, more than any family should have to endure. I can't imagine what the girl's mother has been through.
Part of me, though, can imagine Christopher Sandeen's ordeal. Don't get me wrong. I AM NOT saying I know what he's going through. Only a fool would say that about a family that has had to endure multiple organ transplants. But Chris and I have one thing in common. We both children we'd do anything fore.
I've had the pleasure of talking to him several times over the years about Alyssa's ordeal. Each time he tells me how he's handling the possibility of losing his daughter, I think about my own kids, and wonder how well I'd be handling it. And I thought about that today when he told me what he'd said to Alyssa when she called him.
It would have been really easy for him -- or any dad -- to just be elated, to share in Alyssa's joy that FINALLY, after so many months of waiting, she'd be getting a new heart. But it takes a real dad, in that moment when it'd be more fun to rejoice, to still do what you need to do. He still wanted to protect her, didn't want her to get her hopes up too high only to have them crushed. She needed a dad to hear what she had to say and be supportive. But she also needed a dad to remind her the fight isn't over.
So when you read the stories in the coming days about Alyssa, be happy for her. If you're the kind of person who prays, pray for her. But don't forget her parents. They've been through a helluva ride. Any parent could see that.
So I raise my glass to Mr. and Mrs. Sandeen. So should you.