I was three or four years old, possibly even five. Dad had driven me in his truck to visit Mom at work or maybe to an appointment. It could have possibly been to visit a family friend. While we were at this location I slipped my curious child fingers into bowl of candy and pulled out a round hard peppermints.
Once we were back in the truck I immediately popped that sucker into my mouth while Dad backed out of the parking spot. Due to another car, or a pedestrian, or some kind of a wild animal, my father had to suddenly slam on his breaks. This caused the candy to get wedge directly into my air pipe.
I don't remember much of the details leading up to this moment, but I can never forget that feeling of having your breath suddenly taken from you. I tried desperately to yell "Daddy help me, I can't breath" but the air was gone. The only thing I could do was wrap my tiny fingers around my tiny neck as to communicate that something was wrong.
Back in the late 80s it wasn't against the law yet for children to be riding in the front seat of vehicles. So, luckily, I was sitting right next to my father so he instantly took notice. I unsuccessfully gave one last attempt to cry for help before blacking out.
When I regained conscientiousness I could see a spill of pink liquid covering my sneakers and off to the side was that tricky peppermint that nearly kill me.
I can't imagine the mix of emotions that takes over someone while they witness their child's soul slowly leave her body. The amount of fear and desperation Dad must have felt to see me go limp and slowly turn blue. Apparently, my father nearly had to beat the candy out of me. Doing everything he could from slapping me hard on the back to shaking me upside down by the ankles. My father is not a man who gives up easily and he was going to do everything he could to save me. Here I am, successfully breathing 25 years later because he didn't stop fighting for me. He has never stopped fighting since. He is my biggest supporter and advocate.
For me, the phrase " I wouldn't be here without my Father" is an understatement. I would only have been on this earth for a handful of years if it wasn't for him. For that, I am forever grateful.
Happy birthday Dad. Thank you for saving my life.