So imagine that you have the wedding of your dreams, and the possibility of starting a wonderful new life with someone you love. Mike, and I were both married before, and even though the marriages didn't work out we did learn from them. Therefore, we knew going into our new life we would use our past to educate ourselves on how to treat one another. I also knew that Mike wanted children, and probably pretty soon after we got married. He had mentioned his parents were older, and he wanted them to see his children. It took me a long time to get pregnant with Emily, so I was so surprised when I was pregnant with Jude by December (we married in October). I knew Mike had lost several children with his first wife, and was heart broken each time. She had complications that caused tubal pregnancies, and losing another child was something Mike feared. So I knew Mike was going to be apprehensive about anything happening to me, or the baby. I assured Mike that my pregnancy was uneventful with Emily except for her being two weeks past due. I highly doubted anything would be wrong with our pregnancy, and that we would have a happy healthy baby.
So we went into the pregnancy with high hopes, and big dreams. We looked at baby furniture, picked out cute outfits, and planned for our future addition to our family. We were like any other newly married couple expecting their first child, we were giddy with excitment. Then the news came.... how do you tell a man that has lost five children, "Your baby is going to be disabled". How do you explain to him that a doctor has said the life expectancy of the son he wanted so bad is 3-5 years? Mike's greatest moment in life was when the doctor told him he was having a son, and in the next instant they told us something was wrong. I saw his heart shatter into bits, and the worry spread across his face. I was also upset, and bargaining with God, but I was so concerned for Mike.
Over the next few months we went through the most complicated pregnancy imaginable, and a roller coaster ride of emotions. I saw Mike sink into a depression only to be pulled out when they told us they thought Jude had beaten the odds, and might be alright. I then saw Mike hit bottom when Jude had his first seizure at three months. I had been home with the baby alone, and I noticed the seizure activity. It was simple repetitive movements of Jude's mouth, and arms, and maybe nothing anyone would normally catch. Mike walked through the door, and I quietly said, "I think the baby is having a seizure". Mike fell to his knees in front of Jude crying, and rubbing Jude's legs "No baby no" he said, and my heart broke for both my boys. The next few months were intense, and horrible, and Mike didn't want to get out of his pajamas. I watched him battle with his emotions, and watched him worry about how he would make our situation work. I just kept assuring him I would be there for him, and we had to stick together.
It's now six months later, and rays of sunshine has popped out from behind our storm clouds. We are slowly adjusting to our "new normal" life, and we have found our blessing in Jude. Mike says that he thinks Jude was meant to be his all along, and he just needed to right person to be his mom. Mike has told me many times that when he asks for patience, and understanding God has a way of teaching him in a way he never expected. His mother always tells him that "God is pruning you for something special". He then replies "Mother if I were a tree I would now be a STICK!" Which is hilarious, but he also knows that God was pruning him for Jude. We all have our flaws, but Mike is honestly an amazing person. He is an amazing father not only to Jude, but an incredible step father to Emily. He always knows the right thing to say to her, the right way to joke, and is the "fun" dad of our neighborhood. He has grown more as a person in the last year then I think I have ever seen anyone grow. From our situation he has a new outlook on life, and more patience then I think he ever thought he had. I am proud of him as a person, and proudly call my my husband.
So what is a father? A father is a man that can step up in a time of crisis, and love your child unconditionally with all your heart.
A father is the man in this video;
To Daddy from Jude:
Daddy, I love you
For all that you do
I'll kiss you and hug you
Cause you love me, too.
You feed me and need me
To teach you to play,
So smile 'cause I love you
On this Father's Day.
"Til Kingdom Come" by Coldplay is on my player at the bottom of this page. It played at my wedding with meaning, and it still plays with meaning. I love you Mike, thanks for being a great dad, and an incredible husband!