With today being Father’s Day, it is always good to focus on what being a Dad means to me. My oldest son Seth is 12 years old, or as he would correct me, he is 12 and a half years old. Seth was born and was delivered through an emergency C-Section. Seth spent months in the hospital at OSF at times clinging for his life. I looked at this tiny baby boy that could fit in the palm of my hand and was overwhelmed with emotion. I was proud to be his daddy, but I was scared to death that he would die. I remember days, weeks, and months at the hospital praying for Seth and his Doctors.
Seth grew and gained strength and eventually came home in what is called a “car bed”. Seth was still very tiny and had to be in what looked like a shoe box bed that would fold into the seat if there were a crash. Seth was always very small but mighty and full of life and smiles.
When Seth was 2, he had to have his tonsils taken out. This was a fairly routine operation that appeared to go well. I would lay in his bed with him and we read books and watch movies. As the day went on, his oxygen stats dropped and the Doctor’s were not sure why. Finally Seth had a seizure and was not breathing. Doctors had to put him on a ventilator after some difficulties getting the right size tube down his airway. Seth suffered a loss of oxygen to his brain and he became critical. Seth was in ICU for 10 days once again clinging to life. I asked the Doctor at one point to tell me if Seth would die. The Doctor told me he would do everything he could to keep that from happening, but told me that it was very possible he would not make it. I watched my little boy hooked up to all of the machines that were breathing for him and keeping him alive. I remember praying, crying, and pleading with God to spare Seth’s life.
I felt helpless as Seth’s father who would do anything to protect him and keep him safe. Now, I could do nothing but wait and pray. It was all in God’s hands. After the first few days, Seth showed signs of improvement and the Doctor was able to take him off of the ventilator after the 10th day. Seth suffered a brain injury, and this led to many challenges over the years. However, Seth was and still is a fighter and has overcome many obstacles. Seth was an Ambassador with Easter Seals, and now runs cross country and is an absolutely amazing kid. I know that God has an amazing plan for Seth’s life!
Isaiah is 11 and loves to tell jokes and is a very funny kid. He loves to talk to people and is a very loving and compassionate boy. He even enjoys speaking in front of groups. (sounds like me!) Jonah is 10 and full of life. He loves everything sports. He can tell you just about anything you want to know about almost every sport. Jonah has a contagious laugh and a kind heart. I am so thankful that Isaiah and Jonah did not have any major medical challenges.
In my line of work, I see so many kids that long to have a father. Kids who would love to have a Dad who cared about them and were around to teach them about life. Father’s are so important in a child’s life. This is one of the saddest things that I experience as a Police Officer.
I don’t claim to have all the answers or be perfect, but I do love my 3 boys and I am PROUD to be their father. Pray for your children, encourage them, and always tell them that you love them. You’re never promised tomorrow.