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.