Saturday, June 18, 2011

On Men and Fathers and having a Daddy

I watch my husband sometimes with my kids and I wonder, in awe, how it is that I knew how to pick a good husband to be and a good father to be when I was only nineteen.  Engaged at nineteen.  Married at twenty.  Parents of three by 25.  Parents of 6 by 35.

And I did pick a good one.  I knew to expect to be treated well.  I knew I was lovable and beautiful and smart and deserving.  I knew that because my daddy had always told me I was.

I was his favorite Jennifer in the WHOLE WORLD.  And I knew I deserved a good guy because my dad showed me I did every single day of my childhood.

The words we heard this week were "terminal"  "limited options"  "aggressive".  And worse, "no cure".   We have some time to try to fight, but no one can really saw how much.  It was bad news. VERY BAD NEWS.

My dad is sick.  Really, really sick. His birthday this year is on Father's Day.  Sunday.

Honestly, I don't really know what to say other than I love him.  And that we need him.  My kids need him.  My sister needs him.  My nephews need him.  My step mom needs him.  I NEED HIM.

I have a hard time right now talking TO HIM.  I can talk about him just fine, but to him?  It is so hard to pick up that phone and say hello.   Why?  Because I know how badly he needs me to be OK.  He has spent his whole life making sure I am OK.  Checking my tire pressure every time I come over.  Topping up the oil, checking my wiper fluid. A quick hug and a glance  "You OK, Jen?".  "Yes dad!" and a smile of relief.

More than anything I know my dad wants us all to be OK.  It is not himself he is worried about.  In typical amazing dad fashion, it is ME.

And honestly, I am not.  I don't feel strong enough or wise enough or brave enough to face this battle with him.  I feel like a three year old who needs to know her daddy is the strongest man in the whole world and will fix anything and everything, always.   I want to hide and shut down and forget.   And he wants me to be OK.  Not to cry or sob or be a little girl scared of losing her daddy, but to be the capable woman he raised.

He has taught me strength.  And fortitude.  And how to be brave and strong and resilient.  He has taught me how to survive this and it is a lesson I never wanted to know.   Because his strength and bravery and hard work have been my foundation.  And can you survive without your foundation?  I really don't want to find out.

Happy Father's Day Dad.  Happy Birthday Dad.  I love you.

And I hate cancer.


Andy said...

I hate cancer too!

Wish you Dad a Happy Birthday from me! He sounds pretty awesome!!

Stacy said...

"He has taught me how to survive this and it is a lesson I never wanted to know. "

As you said to me - there are no words to comfort you right now. Just know that many are thinking of you and praying for your family.(((hugs)))

Not a Spring Chicken said...

Praying Psalm 91 for you. That as you dwell in the shelter of the Most High, you will be able to rest in the shadow of the Almighty.

Teresa said...

Hi Jen,
Just wanted to say that I'm thinking of you a lot lately. I'm guessing yesterday might have been a bittersweet day.

Hugs to you,

Weird in edgewise said...

Yeah, I hate it too, freaking rotten disease.

Don't worry about letting yourself go a bit while talking with your Dad. Holding it in makes it a lot bigger. He can handle it if you're upset - by the end of the conversation, you'll have it together again. said...

what a gift you have in him, I hate cancer too!