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A Father's Day like no other for sports writer Bob Hersom

by Jenni Carlson Modified: June 18, 2011 at 11:02 pm •  Published: June 18, 2011

That faith has been sustaining as the days have been a roller coaster of promising prognoses and sobering setbacks. He went on a ventilator and on dialysis, then had an infection. He improved, then needed surgery for an abscess. He moved up the transplant list, then developed an infection.

“He is being a fighter,” Robbie told me, “but he really needs a liver soon.”

A few nights ago, a liver came in that matched Bob's blood type, but someone was higher on the transplant list. He is next in line, but he has to be healthy enough when an organ becomes available.

Saturday brought good news — the doctors are happy with Bob's improvement.

It also brought that wedding day visit from Katie. The family has long suspected that Bob might not be healthy enough to attend her wedding.

Neither Bob nor the rest of the family wanted to take away from Katie's big day — he let that be known long ago — but Katie wasn't about to get married without him.

She wore a bracelet with her daddy's picture on it and attached his wedding ring to her bouquet.

Those details are as painful as they are beautiful.

Katie and Blake had the wedding videotaped, and once Bob is feeling better, they will sit and watch it with him. No doubt he will love every minute of it.

But here is my Father's Day wish for Bob — a dance.

After he watches the wedding ceremony with Katie, I hope they will dance like they would've done Saturday night. I hope he will shuffle her around the room with a big smile on his face. I pray he will know that this was the best Father's Day ever.

by Jenni Carlson
Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football...
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