When it came to picking out a father for my children, I cheated. When I met Chuck, he was already a dad. On our first date I bore witness to his relationship with his son. He wasn’t a perfect parent (no one is), but the longer we dated, the more I was impacted by the love, pride and devotion Chuck had – and still has – for Chandler. I saw tears (from Chuck’s eyes) over long separations and complete joy wash over his face when they reunited. I watched my future husband pour into Chan’s spiritual growth and I watched them play. By the time Chuck proposed, I could hardly wait to have children with this man. We were pregnant within our first year of marriage.
When Shelby came along, I learned how good my husband is in crisis. When our daughter started seizing at 4 months of age, Chuck’s cool head and tender concern were a life vest to this drowning mama. I can’t even count the number of times he scooped her convulsing body up in his arms and drove her to the hospital. But I also can’t count the number of times he has pushed her in a swing, read her a book, pedaled her wheelchair bicycle, or tickled the bottom of her foot until she is howling with laughter. He is involved in every medical decision, education planning meeting, and therapy goal. And as Shelby has grown, Chuck has taken the lead in many of the more difficult aspects of her care as injury and illness have knocked me down time and again.
Chuck was as excited for Allie – our last baby – as he was for the first. Little girls really do have a way of wrapping their daddies around their little fingers. It’s a cliche because it’s true. As she has planted herself firmly in the pre-teen years, their relationship has gotten more difficult. Hormones and “girl issues” have been a challenge for Daddy to navigate, but oh, how he is trying. If love could be measured in effort, his affection for his baby girl would flow off the chart.
Then came the grandkids. We have 4 of them already (at a very young age I might add). And Pop adores them. He takes every opportunity he can to see them and misses them like crazy when he can’t. He loves to play with them – from the oldest to the youngest. And they love him.
This year, I feel that I have experienced Chuck as a father in an increasingly personal way. With my cancer diagnosis, my husband has somewhat changed his role from lover to care-giver. This is only temporary, mind you. Stella will get her groove back. But for now, he is loving me by helping me with surgery wound care, reminding me to take my medicine, making sure I am sleeping enough and not over-exerting, and going with me to doctor’s appointments whenever possible. He prays over me and dotes over me; and even with cancer, I feel like the luckiest girl in the world because he is with me.
God was very generous when He chose Chuck to lead our family. I can truthfully say to our Daddy, “I thank my God in all my remembrance of you.” Phil 1:3 NASB Happy Father’s Day, Chuck.