A Father’s Day Post

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When my first son, Tom, was born I joked (bitterly) that all I had to do to be a better father than my father had been was to survive for more than four years.

My father died when I was 4-years-old, after losing a short battle with Hodgkin’s disease. I grew up without a father and with barely any memories of having one. Father’s day was not a holiday I celebrated. I knew I’d had a father and I knew many facts about him but still I’ve always felt that I didn’t really know him.

I grew up wishing I had a father, just like everyone else. I knew many kids with divorced parents but I was the only one who didn’t have a father at all.

Early on I had decided that I wanted to have children and that I would be an active and involved father.

When Tom was born I immediately felt I wanted him to have what I never had. At the time I was a healthy 31- year-old and although I’d always feared cancer I did not think I had any reason to worry about my health.  But when Tom was just over a year old, something began to go wrong.  It took months for me to realize it was something serious.  I was losing weight and waking up throughout the night to drink and then urinate.  I thought I was waking up because of Tom’s crying.  Little did I know…

When Tom was 18-months-old I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.  At that point, after losing 20-some pounds, the feeling in my feet, and with my vision so blurred I couldn’t see the TV, death did not seem all that far away. It didn’t take me very long to understand that if I wanted to stay around and be able to be the active father I’d always wanted to be I would have to take very good care of myself.   So here I am trying…

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