In the month that celebrates fathers, my son became a father for the second time. The blue-eyed baby that nestled in my arms in what feels like a year or two ago, is all grown-up with blue-eyed babies of his own. While birth is always a miracle, the birth of David’s daughters is the most miraculous because during his senior year at college, David was supposed to die. It took months before my very sick son was correctly diagnosed with Crohn’s disease. It took longer to get the right doctors and even longer to receive the life-saving treatment. In all that time, David wasted away; losing pounds by the day and writhing in pain through the nights.
An only child whom I babied, I didn’t know the true worth of my son. I busied myself with protecting him; calling foundations, searching for cures and all the while cursing at a God who would steal my only child. David was made of sterner stuff. He stayed in graduate school, even when a teacher suggested he drop out due to his illness. He insisted upon a famous surgeon to have his bowel resection, had the surgery and began his slow path to remission.
My resolve was to pray his symptoms wouldn’t return. My son had his own ideas. He signed up for an experimental drug. Just reading the side effects had me running from his room, but he prevailed. That was thirteen years ago. By self-injecting his Humira, every month, David has added a full lifetime to his prognosis. He’s a successful and respected school psychologist. He found and married the love of his life. Two years ago, he gave the world a new little person and last week, he and his wife added another to the globe’s roster.
To my son the father; you have taught me to fight back despite the odds. I take no credit for your fortitude. I can only humbly offer you a happy father’s day.