When a man marries, he is expected to be the leader and the rock of the family.
Visibly unaffected by the winds of change, he continues on faithful and steady despite the adversity he faces.
Yet the moment he is handed his first child, he begins a new life—the life of a daddy.
He now wears a part of his heart on the outside of his body.
His job is to teach his child, disciple his child, and lead his child.
He is the one who does the hard stuff like being strong when others are weak.
He is filled with concern when his child is sick.
As the testing begins, he steadily walks beside his wife and child through each procedure.
His heart is heavy with fear when he hears the diagnosis is likely fatal.
He hurts when his child hurts but tries to look tough in the face of pain.
His tasks have included standing close by while his baby endures yet another trauma.
Many days he has carried his little one, too weak to stand, back to the car after a treatment.
Many nights he has held the dreaded shot needles while hearing, “Please don’t, Daddy.”
Though his eyes may get misty, you will rarely see him shed a tear.
He is a man who puts others’ pain in front of his own.
I know this man well; you see, I married him long ago. I have delivered his babies, some healthy and others who were struggling. I have watched him diaper and feed them, buckle them in their car seats, and rock them late at night.
I sat next to him when they told us, “I’m sorry it looks like your daughter has cancer.” I’ve held him as we silently sobbed after holding our daughter down for yet another painful treatment. I’ve seen him retreat into himself to escape sharing his pain. I’ve also seen him pour his heart out to me alone about how hard this walk is.
The day they told us the tumors were growing and we wouldn’t have our daughter much longer, I watched as through the tears he continued to minister to her needs. Despite the temper tantrums, pain, and distress he lovingly stood by her side.
Through long, sleepless nights and endless, painful days, he faithfully took care of her.
He shielded me from so many hard tasks. I never once gave her a “poke” in her tiny thigh. I never gave the strong medication needed to endure the pain. I wasn’t the one who stood beside her when only one parent was allowed to be at the hospital overnight. When we brought her home to wait for the final days to be complete, he set an alarm round the clock to wake and care for her medical needs. She knew her daddy was there for her, even telling me, “Let daddy change my diaper, mom. He does it better!”
The day we planned her funeral I held her, still clinging to life, in my arms. He was the one who carried her back to our bedroom to tuck her into bed that night. In the final moments when we said goodbye, he was the one to pray over her one last time.
When the funeral director arrived, her daddy carried her out to the waiting car, handing her tiny body to another caretaker for the last time. The afternoon of her funeral her daddy stood strong and carried our daughter’s little white coffin to the gravesite as we prepared to lay her to rest.
During her short lifetime, he was our rock, our strong leader.
She and I both knew he would do whatever needed to be done to protect her.
To heal her if it was in his control.
To release her to Heaven when his heart was broken.
To stand firm beside us as his family gathered to lay her to rest.
This man holds my full and complete admiration for all the things he never thought he could do . . . but did.
Daddies are strong even in their weakest moments.
I am so grateful to co-parent with such an amazing daddy.