Father’s Day is coming up, and I wanted to take this opportunity to tell everyone a little bit, or maybe a lot, about the guy who holds that title for me. We haven’t always been as close as we should have been, partly because girl teenagers come with a side of crazy, and partly because I didn’t know him like I know him now. He’s pretty awesome! He’s mine though. You can’t have him. Get your own awesome.
He was a Dad before I came along, but in 1983, I made him a Dad of 2. And I did it in a style only I could pull off. Sick, HUGE, with a hole in my spine, and SO NOT READY to take on the world, on his birthday. Cue probably a lot of panic and fear, an ambulance ride, and a doctor who almost bought himself a punch in the face. My Daddy don’t play.
See, my Dad was in Viet Nam, and was exposed to Agent Orange while he was there. I told you guys he was a hero! As a result of his service, I came into the world with spina bifida. I’m sure he carries some guilt, but I’ve never carried any blame. I’m proud of him. He did his job, and came home. And that’s all I care about.
On the day I was born, I think a lot of things changed for him. He had to learn to be a pro-life advocate in a VERY personal way. As I laid in an incubator, looking around the room, he was given a laundry list of all the things I’d never do, all the things I’d never become, and all the reasons why it was best to let me go without treatment. Give that a minute to sink in. Remember that doctor that almost got punched in the face? Now you understand. My Dad is not a jerk, but don’t play with his kids. Just don’t. He saved my life that day. Happy birthday to US.
Some Dads cringe at the idea of a poopy diaper. My Dad learned medical procedures that would make a normal man pass clean out. He spent nights in the hospital, sleeping on those really uncomfortable bed/chair combinations that are ALWAYS broken, when he could. Sometimes he couldn’t. Sometimes, he had to work days, and nights, and days…then nights, and double time, and triple time, and over time, and ALL THE TIME, to make ends meet, and make sure I could get the medical care I needed. I don’t think spina bifida Dads get enough credit for being the financial provider AND being there to kiss boo boos and bumps.
I got so much of myself from him. My nose was his first. I write, because it’s in my DNA. He got published recently. I’m not jealous or anything. Ahem…I admire his love of God, and learn from it all the time. You won’t find him inside the walls of a church often, but Jesus flows through his blood, and he’s not afraid to show you. I hope I have that same sparkle.
I love him. He’s my life saver, my go-to for life advice, my friend, and my hero. I’m blessed. Everyone should have a hero Dad. But like I said before, this one is mine. Get your own.