The Father’s Day card came from the family who gave my dad a new heart

INDIANAPOLIS STAR |  Amanda Kingsbery
Archie Mitchell, 69, received a heart transplant on June 22, 2012. "The man's heart I have beating in my body belongs to Frank Edwards. He was from Chicago, Ill. His heart fit in my body like it was meant to be there." Mykal McEldowney/IndyStar
Five years ago, I tried to talk to my dad about death. I wanted to hear his regrets. I wanted to laugh at silly memories, like the time his older brothers put their mom's best saucepan on his head and sent him sprinting into a hailstorm. I wanted to know if he was afraid.

He ignored me and kept talking about the Cubs game on TV.

It was Father's Day in June 2012. He was lying in bed on the Cardiovascular Critical Care Unit at IU Health Methodist Hospital, in end-stage heart failure. This wasn't the only time I worried my dad could die; he had the first of two massive heart attacks at age 40, the year I went to college. But this time was different. The man who used to referee high school basketball, and outplay those same kids at the local park, could barely breathe after walking a few feet. At 64, he would die without a heart transplant. Continue reading

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