My father is retired and was available to accompany me to our growing number of appointments. My husband, Jeremy, being the sole financial earner in our home, was not able to attend most of them, so having my father there brought me a lot of comfort. I have never before understood so deeply a father’s love and my perception of just how much we are all affected by the relationships we hold was solidified.
My father was the one to calm my nerves as we waited in a lobby area while Avery had multiple wires strapped to his small, naked body while performing the echo cardiogram. This was one type of test they perform to check for heart functioning. My father was able to share with me the moment the cardiologist told us my son’s heart was healthy. I stayed so strong up until I heard those words, and with my father by my side, it was then that a flood of tears came out. My heart was finally able to relax.
My father was there to share meals with me in between appointments on the days when I had a minimum of three all within the first part of the day. To the outside world, those lunches would appear like any regular meal but to me they were so much more. Our conversations had a wide range of topics. Some days would we would discuss the appointments, and other times we would share stories of our weekends and as always laughter and comedy were always present.
For all who know my father, you are already aware that although conversations can get heavy, morbid sarcasm is never far away. This is what people love the most about my dad- his ability to listen so intently, offer solid advice and always include some laughter if he knows it’s needed. My entire life my Dad has always listened to me as though I was the only person not only in the room, but in the world. He listens as though every word I said holds immeasurable importance to him and that how I feel is justified. He does this with everyone he meets, and that is why he is loved by so many. Because of this, his presence provided a source of support and companionship that I needed more than ever.
It wasn’t just my father’s presence and conversation that provided support, but he was also the one who reminded me to eat on the days when I felt rushed. He always made sure we stopped for a snack, even if it meant we would be a few minutes late. He would offer to drive to all of the appointments to allow me to relax, and bring me coffee for those early morning appointments. Although these may seem like small gestures to some, for me they meant the world and none of them went unnoticed. For these moments and a thousand others he was present for, I am forever grateful, and it would take me countless lifetimes to repay him.
“A man’s worth is measured by how he parents his children. What he gives them, what he keeps away from them, the lessons he teaches and the lessons he allows them to learn on their own…”