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Tuesday, May 21st, 2013
2 years, 6 months.
This morning we drove the first half of the way to school in the rain, but the skies began to clear by the second half.
As they did, I announced, “Jack! Look, in the sky! It’s a rainbow! Do you see it?”
You looked through the windshield, asking, “Where? Where?” but not understanding what you were actually looking for.
Finally, you looked above the green I-65 South sign and finally saw what I did.
“I see yellow choo-choo, Daddy!”
That sounds pretty random when I tell it, but I have to consider: You’ve never seen a rainbow until today.
To you, it was a yellow train chugging across the sky.
Despite my 29 and a half year head start into life, I still am fascinated by rainbows; as you obviously are too.
Actually, it’s pretty hard to look up in the sky and see a rainbow and not at least think, “Cool, a rainbow.”
A rainbow is a universal sign of hope, I assume.
I have to assume that as hard as life can be, a person has to see a rainbow and consider that there is hope beyond what we see. For you, I would have to think that life is already more like that already.
You haven’t failed in life, yet.
You haven’t been legitimately disappointed about anything.
You haven’t regretted anything in your past.
You haven’t only wished you would have known sooner.
Hopefully, that’s where I come in. I want you to learn from my mistakes. Sure, you’ll make plenty of your own mistakes; that’s part of life.
But I want to help fast forward you through the learning curve of life.
It isn’t all sunshine and rainbows, but there are clues of hope embedded into everyday life, if we know what to look for.
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Friday, December 14th, 2012
While I will always do my best to give you answers about life, there are certain things that just can’t be explained with a reasonable answer. Today will be most remembered as the day a gunman killed seven adults and 20 children at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut.
People ask, “Why did this happen?”
No one can give a reasonable explanation, because nothing about this incident was reasonable or explainable.
My attempt at an explanation is that some people in this world feel so broken, unloved, and numb that they give up on life.
The irony is, as hopeless and alone as they feel, they still don’t want to die alone.
It’s times like these that cause some people to ask, “If there is a God, why would He allow such an unthinkable event to happen?”
Others ask, “How could an event like this not cause people to turn to God, in the hope that there is a saving grace stronger than the depravity of man?”
In these moments we are forced to both contemplate and appreciate our own lives.
After all, we are the ones that still have the gift of life.
As messed up as it gets sometimes, we still share this gift. We still have the opportunity to love others as ourselves.
People who destroy the lives of others don’t, and maybe even can’t, understand this concept. I’m sure part of the reason is that they themselves weren’t shown enough love in their own life, but that doesn’t give them any excuse.
That’s why as your dad, I will always be teaching you the importance of making people feel special and included. If we all did that the best we could, maybe we could help create a butterfly effect where we passed along hope instead of despair.
I will teach you to seek out the lost, the friendless, the misunderstood, and the lonely. They need a good friend.
And I believe you will make a good one.
We can never explain events like the one that happened today. We can only do our part to quench the pattern of brokenness and fear with a pattern of love and hope.
I love you, Son. I hugged you extra close tonight. So did Mommy. We’re going to take good care of you.
Image credit: Shutterstock, Highway Gantry Sign.
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Saturday, November 12th, 2011
Yesterday I had to leave work about an hour early to pick up my son Jack from KinderCare: He had a temperature of 103. I knew that because he was still playful, still eating, and not showing any other signs of distress, this would be a “give him fever reducer” solution and not a “take him to the doctor” kind of thing.
But still, there’s something about knowing your child is not well that is undeniably unnerving; the thought that saving your child is not immediately up to you.
Sure, I can protect him from certain things. Admittedly, perhaps I’m overprotective: I won’t let the little guy watch TV or even drink juice. (Yeah, I one of those kind of parents!)
I’ve tried to imagine what I would do if something ever happened to him. How would I psychologically deal with that? Would I be the kind of dad that literally loses his mind if he lost his son? I want to believe that my son will outlive me. It’s both morbid and realistic to think about these dark situations, but occasionally, when I catch myself off guard, I do.
However, the world is full of parents who literally have had to lose their child, including Ruthe and Michael Rosen, whose 14-year old daughter, Karla, was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor.
But they decided to turn their pain into purpose.
They transformed Karla’s courage and solid optimism into a legacy of community service when they founded The Let It Be Foundation. It’s a nonprofit organization that helps families with children who have been diagnosed with life-threatening illnesses.
The Let It Be Foundation provides services including opportunities for family recreation, housekeeping, grocery shopping and meals, and help in meeting the needs of the child’s siblings. This assistance enables the children and their families to maintain a sense of normalcy at home as they battle the most serious illnesses. So far, The Let It Be Foundation has brought comfort, hope, and joy to families throughout Southern California, and is now in the process of expanding its presence nationwide.
To pass on the meaningful lessons she learned from living with Karla’s cancer, Ruthe also wrote Never Give Up: How to Find Hope and Purpose in Adversity (Cypress House, Sept. 2011), a brave story of faith, hope, and joy in the face of the unimaginable. The book follows Karla’s cancer journey and her unwavering optimism, inspiring readers to turn pain into purpose. Proceeds will benefit families served by The Let It Be Foundation.
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