My dad has had that beard since he was 20 years old. When he started his own business, he swore he’d never shave or cut his hair again. This photo was taken the night before his open heart surgery- literally five minutes before I got out the clippers and helped him shave. I think letting go of that beard was scarier for him than the operation itself. It sort of symbolizes the way medical doctors can save your life, yet strip away your dignity and identity in the process.

My dad never fails to face things with a sense of humor, though. After the nurses shaved the rest of his body bare, he yelled “Wait! I need a marker! I’m gonna write ‘Get ‘Er Done’ on my chest and I expect the surgeon to write ‘Got ‘Er Done!’ below that when he’s finished.” – Jenna O.

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