Monday, June 16, 2008

A Different Perspective on Father's Day

While I was watching Kung Fu Panda with Corey and Larry, two guys at my office were having unique Father’s Days of their own. It reminds me of how very different all our lives can be.

David and Chuck both have offices down the hall from me. David actually reports to Chuck and they are golfing buddies. Both hold management positions within my organization and I interact with them often.

David became a father for the first time on Saturday. His wife gave birth that afternoon allowing him to celebrate his first father’s day just a few hours later. David has been so excited about becoming a dad. He’s emailed the whole office with picture of an infant in that all-too-familiar blue & pink blanket and has been talking about preparing the nursery for months. He spent most of Father’s Day holding his son for the first time.

Chuck held his sons for the last time on Sunday. He’d been fighting colon cancer for the past 10 months and had recently progressed to stage IV. His eldest son just finished his first year of college and had made it home in time to say goodbye to his dad. After months of chemo and radiation, Chuck lost his fight with his family by his side.

David’s wife spent Sunday cradling her son in her arms. So did Chuck’s mom.

I remember both of them at my colleague’s wedding. David’s wife had not yet announced her pregnancy but was beaming with excitement; soon-to-be parents laughing and smiling at the endless possibilities that lie in front of them. Chuck and his wife were there as well. He was rolling his eyes as his wife danced the traditional Indian stick dance being performed by the bride and grooms family. He was tired from the initial treatments he had just begun, but you’ve never seen a happier man.

Tears of joy and sorrow crossed our office this morning. A new life came into our company as a treasured one disappeared from our lives forever.

Two dads; each with so much ahead of them. David is 40 and Chuck was 43.

One dad has a lifetime of memories to create for his son while the other can look down from heaven at the ones he created for his three sons.

Chuck, you will be dearly missed. It was an honor to call you my friend.


Blogger Whit said...

I'm sorry, very sad indeed.

6:55 PM  
Blogger Mrs. Chili said...

This hit me just right - I'm weeping. This is beautifully written, Steve, and incredibly evocative.

Love 'em while you've got 'em is my motto lately. It seems like good advice for all of us, no?

9:05 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

That was lovely, Steve.

10:43 PM  
Blogger Phil said...

Very sad. This hit me hard because I'm also 43, and there's a history of colon cancer in my family. Five years ago I had a colonoscopy, which was clear of polyps, but it's always in the back of my mind. And I will continue to have these exams. People should not be afraid of colon cancer screening. Better to have a few moments of discomfort than an early end to your life.

12:28 AM  
Anonymous Dan said...

Beautiful post, 43 is too early.

2:59 AM  
Blogger Bacchus said...

Poignant, beautifully written. I'm sorry for the loss of your friend, their husband and father.

3:45 AM  
Blogger georgia said...

I'm deeply sorry for your loss, Steve.

10:26 AM  
Blogger Daddy L said...

Well written tribute to both your friends. Sorry to hear about the loss of your friend.

3:30 PM  
Blogger Darren said...

What's with everyone making me cry this week? I feel like a middle-aged woman.

My congratulations to David and condolences for Chuck.

8:25 AM  
Blogger creative-type dad said...

So sorry to hear that...

11:29 PM  
Blogger CroutonBoy said...

that was a nice post. belated best wishes to you and Chuck's family.

9:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Everyone's life leaves such a hole when its gone. . . . Beautifully written, Steve - please pass along my love and sympathy to Chuck's family and my happiness and best wishes to Dave's.

9:33 AM  
Blogger Vampdaddy said...

What a great tribute to each of these men. Thanks for sharing this.

7:41 PM  

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