BirthDAYS, Father’sDAY, EveryDAY
My son Sam turned five last Thursday and because he has a mid June birthday it is always around that “special day” for dads. Each year Father’s Day takes on a different meaning to me. The one question I always wonder is what my son will think when he thinks back about the kind of dad that I was. Just asking myself this question implies that maybe I could be a better dad. As I read over the posts about other dads on our Nurtured Facebook page I am certain that I can sometimes do things a little better. There are some powerful and emotional feelings that one gets from reading over those submissions about others. I tip my hat to the many dads that were mentioned. Keep up the good great awesome work!
I have had the good fortune to be a stay at home dad since March 2010. It has been within this time that I have seen so many things through the eyes of my little guy – this little person that I really only knew when I was home after a day at the office or back from another 2 or 3 night trip away from home; and there were many of those in his first 4 years. I’m still embarrassed that when my son wasn’t even 8 days old I was hopping on a plane to cross the country when I probably could have skipped the trip entirely. I guess it takes some of us a little longer to put perspective in place!
My wife was doing an amazing job of helping Sam grow and prosper but I was missing many of those moments – moments that I could never get back. To make matters worse I was missing some of the moments even when I was home because it always seemed that something else had to be done or I was too tired, blah, blah, blah. What a crock…
I am a better man now that those times are behind me since living the past 15 months through the eyes of my little man Sam. He is a good boy (well 90% of the time anyway). I’m so glad that we will be welcoming another child in October – there is no way I will miss any of those future moments with him or her and those yet to come with Sam.
I wonder what the response would be if I asked the dads from the Facebook comments yesterday whether a birthday, a Mother’s Day, a Father’s Day, an anniversary or any memorable date is really any different to them from any other day? Of course, the actual dates will always hold special sentimental meaning, but do these men really think that these are special one-of-a-kind days that happen only once a year so they need to be on their best behavior? I don’t think they do.
I think those gents have chosen to make sure that they try their hardest to make everyone’s “everyday” feel like it is their Mother’s Day, their Father’s Day, their birthday, their anniversary or whatever day it is that makes that person feel special. What do you think? If I am right then what a wonderful way they live life.
There is truly no way to know and / or quantify the best dad in the world. I suspect that there would be a lot of ties for that so called first place. Just close your eyes and imagine a bunch of cloth diaper cladded 2 year olds play wrestling over whose dad is the best. There would never be a winner – there never could be a winner. (And no I do not subscribe to violence ☺)
Reading about one dad’s journey really moved me after a few short sentences from his wife. I have never met J.P. Bremner but I am truly inspired by him to be a better dad. I contacted his wife Sacha to learn a little more about what life has been like for them since being diagnosed with his illness. With her permission I am sharing that with you now:
“My husband was set to leave with the military to Afghanistan, but an optometrist appointment (for pressure he was having in his eyes) 2 days prior to his deployment changed our lives in a way that could never have been imagined. J.P was diagnosed with a Glioblastoma Multiforme which is a very aggressive stage 4 Brain Cancer. He has had 95% of it removed by surgery, has undergone 6 weeks of radiation and chemotherapy, and continues to do chemo monthly. The prognosis of this type of cancer varies, but can be bleak as the cancer usually returns within a year we are told. We are hopeful that with J.P being so young, this will help him beat the average survival time of this horrible disease.
As of right now J.P is doing well. We are taking things day by day, and as with any cancer there are certainly good days and bad days. We try our best to take in the good days as they come, and try to get through the bad days the best that we can. J.P continues to go to work as much as he can despite how sick he feels some days (we are very fortunate to have the financial support of the military to cover all of his medical expenses etc). He can be described as someone who loves to work: work on cars, work on our house, whatever can keep him busy. Since I have known J.P he has always wanted a garage, so we built one for him with funds from a benefit family and friends had for us, and it makes me smile every time I see him working in it. He is an amazingly strong husband and father, who our little girl (Sophie) adores, and as I mentioned in my post, he always makes time for the little moments with her, and I know he will continue to be the same amazing father to our baby boy that is due in September.
Sometimes I look at our situation and try to understand why this is happening to us, and it breaks my heart when I think about what the future may hold (which I try not to do) But I try to remember that we never really know what life is going to hand to any of us good or bad. It sounds so cliché, but we really do have to live each day to the fullest that we can. I read a quote by Oprah the other day that really expressed how I try to live each day, it went: “Breathe. Let go, and remind yourself that this very moment is the only one you know you have for sure.”
At Nurtured, we would like JP to accept our Nurtured Dad of the Year Award on behalf of all of those other awesome dads out there.
I cannot imagine facing every day with the reality of having Stage 4 Brain Cancer – that fact alone would make me try harder to be the full potential of the parent I can be, and that my child wishes I were. I would cherish every moment with my family, not knowing what the future holds. It would be so easy to give up, to give in, to stop fighting, but instead one needs to remember that having a family should inspire you to live each day to the fullest with no excuses and no regrets. All of us at Nurtured sincerely hope that JP will beat this disease forever and be there to see the birth of his second child, to see his children’s first day of school, their high school graduation and live a long healthy life. We know that there are other men in the world facing seemingly overwhelming challenges. We wish them well also.
I’ve been told that JP is kind of shy. From one Dad to another JP I want to say that you didn’t win the right to accept the title on behalf of dads out there because of pity. You won purely on the strength it must take you to get up out of bed and live not just for yourself, but for Sacha, Sophie and your yet to be born son. You deserve to represent other dads as they try to be the best they can be.
JP and family will enjoy a two-night stay at one of the fantastic inns and resorts in our beautiful province, White Point Beach Resort. A well deserved opportunity to take a break on behalf of all Dads (and Mom’s). A well deserved opportunity to just breathe in the air.
I would really like to thank Jolyn and Gillian for helping me with my inaugural post on the Nurtured Blog – my first ever blog posting on any blog. I really only wanted to put a few things down for others to read so if you have made it to the end I thank you.
Happy Everyday Everyone!
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