If there was a problem, yo, dad will solve it

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Michael Pineda

Here’s a gentle reminder for those caught up in the grind, Sunday is Father’s Day.

It’s dad’s special day. The time has come to celebrate all those ballgames he attended and coached in. Remember the time dad spent with us after a long day of work. In many instances, think about the selfless actions he took to ensure you had that cool shirt or shoes for school. 

More often than not, dad was MCU without the comic book. 

Dads are not always easy to shop for. I remember an episode of the Cosby Show years ago when Cliff Huxtable urged his children to put some though t into their gifts. One survived as a memory over the years, a Miami tie that lit up. 

Seems like something I would have bought my dad given the chance. Thankfully I didn’t. There is a solid chance he would have worn it to work. 

My dad, Mario Pineda, has been a Church of Christ preacher in the Comanche area for over 40 years. Over the past 10 years, he has been in a fight with cancer twice.

The most recent bout began in the fall. Dad handled the first brush with cancer kind of like OU playing Kansas in football. He kind of whooped it. The second time, cancer came out to compete. It has been a struggle, but it brings to mind one old saying – “Adversity does not build character, it reveals it.”

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During Christmas time, chemo took a toll. A visit to Comanche to exchange gifts consisted of standing 20 feet away for fear of accidently getting dad sick. The only gift he wanted was a chance to hug his grandchildren, but it wasn’t in the cards. 

As a minister, a large part of dad’s job is to be there for his congregation. Lift them up when they are down, console them through rough times and celebrate their victories. Yet, fighting cancer left him having to preach from a chair on Sundays, too tired to join the family for lunch afterward. Good luck telling him he must take a break from that pulpit. 

Luckily for dad, he had mom, his ride or die for over 50 years. She has been there every step of the way. Honestly, he would probably be lost without her, cancer or no cancer.

There was one day, just over a month ago, dad was having a particularly bad day. Some sickness and illness among others had taken a toll on him. Mom sent out a text message to my brothers and I, asking us to give him a call. 

Throughout the evening, we called, talked about nothing and were able to lift him up – something he has done countless times. I’m not sure if he figured out mom was behind it or if he even thought about it. He preached about it the next day and it meant just as much to her as it did to him. 

Despite the ups and downs, dad has persevered. A couple of weeks ago, he took a PET scan. The results indicate dad is beating cancer once again. At this rate, he will be attending football and basketball games for the grandchildren starting next fall. There will be day trips with mom and a Christmas filled with hugs.

Can’t think of a better Father’s Day. 

Michael Pineda is a staff writer for the Yukon Progress. He can be reached at michael@yukonprogress.com.

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