1 year ago today, Keri received the scariest message from her Mom

1 year ago today, Keri received the scariest message from her Mom

What would you do to have a second chance to tell your Dad you love him? I feel like I was given that chance, and I want more than anything for you to pick up the phone and say I LOVE YOU. Before it's too late. 


I wrote this piece today last year. Exactly one year later I can't NOT share it. Yes it is VERY personal. But if it changes the heart of just one person, it will have been worth it. I still tear up when I remember how different my day was on...

July 7th 2015. 

Yesterday started much like any other day. Why would July 6th 2015 be any different?

I was on my way home, around 2:30pm, when I was overcome by the most intense sadness, and before I knew it, driving along Highlevel Road (Cape Town), I noticed I had tears streaming down my cheeks. I was thinking about my dad. I was thinking about how my sister and I had been discussing 'health' with him. My sister has a little boy on the way, and we were saying to my Mom and Dad how lucky this child is to have such amazing Grandparents waiting for him on this side. I don't know why thinking about this made me sad, but it did. And as I drove, I cried some more. It was a realization that, even though I don't think about it, I will have to see my parents go... sometime.
And I guess the truth is, you are NEVER quite ready for that to happen.

Then, at 3:55pm, my mom this message to me and my siblings:Then, at 3:55pm, 


What followed was a spurt of messages from my brother in Hamburg Germany,
me in Green Point,
my mom in Durban (at St. Augustines)
and my pregnant sister in Sea Point.

My mom told us that my dad had been at gym and had had terrible pain. He had come home hoping to lie down and hopefully 'walk it off'. Luckily with my mom's past emergency training and my dad's inability to say NO to her, my mom was able to get him to the hospital quickly.

From now, all the communication was via Whatsapp.
My sister at her biokineticist practice in Sea Point. My brother about to go into a very important meeting in Germany, me in the lounge at home, my mother in the emergency room at a hospital in Durban, and my dad  in the trauma unit.

All of us with nothing to do but guess what was going on.
We started bombarding my mom with questions. My dad has diabetes, was my dad on the right medication?
Was this something serious?
Could it be a strain from gym?  
My mom couldn't answer our questions. And the more we asked, the less we knew.
One at a time... we started to panic.

"I'm hoping it's just anxiety or angina and nothing serious" says my sister to my mom on the family chat.
"I can't lose him" says my brother
"I'm not with him now," says my mom, "just trying to be strong"
"Mom keep us updated please!" says my sister, "Millers are strong guys!!! No one panic"

Then at 4:16pm my mom sends just this...

2015-07-07 13.39.24 (2)

Now, I must have read that line about 20 times. And just like that, I couldn't keep calm anymore. I just wanted to go home. My head was filled with worse case scenarios. I wanted to be positive but I also felt the need to prepare myself for the worst.
While this was going on my phone was lighting up constantly with messages between my mom, brother and sister.

I just sat at home and sobbed. What else do you do?

It felt like hours, but it couldn't have been even one hour, before my mom messaged again to say that my dad was conscious, but on a lot of morphine. He was still in a great deal of pain, was in the cardiac ICU, and a cardiologist was there with him. She sent us this picture, and told us he was getting prepped to go in for an angiogram.

IMG-20150706-WA0031 (1)

My dad went in for his angiogram last night at 6pm. I decided to go and practice yoga for that hour. Every breath I inhaled was for his health, every breath I exhaled was for his heart. With my phone left on charge in the lounge, I had no idea what news I was going to come home to. What I did know though, was if... and I was praying hard, PLEASE if he recovers from this, I will be the best daughter a dad could want.

I promised every God that I thought would be listening, that if they helped him, I  PROMISED to spread this story. Not because my family needs your sympathy, but because YOUR family doesn't need this kind of hurt before you make the MOST of every minute you have together.

For those of us who still have our parents here, physically, with us... I ask you to have compassion for them. They may not understand technology like you do, they may have different beliefs than you or have different thoughts on culture/religion and dating. But they did the best they could. And for everything they did (right or wrong in your eyes), it has made you who you are today. And for that... be grateful. Pick up the phone. Write a letter. Give a hug. Say I love you. Listen to their story. Let them be them. Because you never know when will be the last time you hear that voice.

So I want to say here for all to read, to you, my amazing Dad, my Tony Miller. 

You gave me such a fright yesterday. And for this, I am remarkably grateful. Thank you for giving me a second chance to love you. Thank you for giving me a second chance to make the phone calls. To write the letters. To listen to your stories. To have compassion for you. And to be patient when teaching you how facebook works. 

You have gone beyond what has been expected of you. And I can't even begin to imagine a world without Tony Miller in it. Thank you for giving showing me how easily we take people for granted, and thank you for this amazing gift you have given me... a second chance to speak to my dad. And I have NEVER been so grateful to hear that voice.
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to write this, but more than that, thank you for being here to read it.

I love you.

My Mom and Dad
My Mom and Dad. Shay and Tony Miller ♥

As of this afternoon (7/7/15), my Tony Miller is stable, and conscious, with a beautiful, life giving stent in place in his artery. He is still in ICU.  And thank you Mom for being so 'on the ball'. You are a legend... and you saved one. ♥

And today... July 7, 2016 my Dad is alive and well and celebrating his HEARTiversary by walking with the elephants in Gauteng.

Here is to another year Dad.

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