I want to profile the daily heroic gestures of fathers by sharing about my husband - the father of our 3 children. Over 37 years ago, he made multiple and significant sacrifices to be the best husband and father for our family. A sacrifice is the greatest way to reveal love to and for one another. His initial and ongoing sacrifices have brought us all blessings.
Over the years our lives have been joyful and content but definitely not without challenges. There have been troubles and anxieties along the way. The adolescent years were…well interesting. But one of our families most challenging events involved my brush with death. After completing the final leg of a swimming relay race, I suddenly and unexplainably sunk to the bottom of the pool. Quickly noting I was not surfacing, my husband dove 13 ft. to the bottom of the pool, pulling me, his lifeless wife, to the pool deck. Recognizing I was not breathing and had no heartbeat, he anxiously and fearfully watched doctors work, providing 22 minutes of CPR to bring me back to life. Thankful I survived, but it was unclear what kind of a life that would be. Would I return to any meaningful existence? Would he have to be the sole caretaker for our three children? Because of his faith, friends and inner strength, he made it through…we made it though. Tough, scary and enduring so many times of uncertainty he held to his promise: to be there, to be loving, providing the physical, emotional and spiritual strength needed to survive and move forward. Due to him, we both came back from this death event and were able to recognize the gifts waiting on the other side.
I know there are amazing stories of hero dads but I think we forget the quiet, daily, thoughtful heroic gestures dad’s do – with little to no recognition. No question rescuing me from the bottom of the pool was amazing, but he has also been present day in and day out. Even at the end of a tough work day, walking up the pathway to our home and seeing through the kitchen window my face showing a fatigued and stern look that said, ‘get in here now and take care of YOUR children’. He didn’t turn around but bravely and lovingly walked through the door and as I went out for a ‘mental health run’ he got things under control. Or after a long day of work that involved meetings into the evening, he was finally coming home. Driving home, he answered a 10 pm call from our frantic teenage daughter. She needed him. They were struggling and couldn’t put up lights for her Homecoming Dance. When he called me to let me know where he was and that he would be late, I said, ‘oh, you are so tired….are you ok?’ He simply said, ‘I am ok…she needs my help. I’ll be fine’. As my own wonderful and wise father reminded me later, ‘she called him because she knew he would come and help’.
He has always been a good guy but his sacrifices throughout our marriage and in the raising of our children just let him shine. He has continually helped our family bounce back to being better. His reliability allowed us to trust, depend and lean on him. We still do. Thank you TF…you are truly a heroic husband and DAD.
Happy Father’s Day to all the hero dads. We appreciate your sacrifices and all you do for us. Make sure you let your dad know what kind of a hero he is and - share your story with us.