The Moment with My Son I Knew I Needed to be a Partner in Hope
I remember the day like it was yesterday, even though it was more like 3 years ago. I took my then 3-and-a-1/2-year-old son Brody to play in the snow at Albany's Washington Park. It was his first time out in the snow with me, like really playing. It was a week of firsts for him, but it ended up being a week of firsts for me as well.
I needed some perspective, and I found it that day.
Brody loved our day in the park and the snow. He was running, he was falling, he was slipping and he was sliding. I taught him how to make snowballs and after a few tries, he formed a nice little snowy nugget and promptly chucked one at me and popped me right in the chest. His puffy little snowsuit was drenched, his boots had frozen mini snowballs stuck on the laces and I must have asked him 20 times if he was cold. 'No, I'm not cold daddy!" he replied multiple times. He was smiling the whole time, and he didn't notice but it actually made me cry.
I teared up a bit because sometimes I felt like I lost my innocence.
I don't consider myself a negative person but I've been through crap (like we all have) that has jaded me to a point where it prevents me from enjoying the little things in life. I usually complain about the snow after a few months of a cold winter, but not on this day. On this day, I couldn't get enough of seeing his little body clumsily fall into the white soft snow as his giggles echoed throughout the entire park.
The little things, ya know?
Like having a healthy, happy, child who can run and play and fall and get up and I got to experience that through the eyes of my child for the first time. Some kids aren't as lucky as my little man. They're not healthy.
They're having needles stuck in their arms and going through chemo treatments and bed-ridden and they can't do anything. They spend all their energy fighting off the 'c-word' and it makes me sick to my stomach thinking about them, their parents, family and friends.
The St. Jude Children's Research Hospital is an amazing place that literally does God's work for the kids, the families; they share cancer research, they are cancer research, they save lives.
This morning, I became a St. Jude 'Partner in Hope' and I urge you to do the same.
I did it for the kids who look out their window at the snow, but can't play in it. And the kids who play in it today, but won't be able to play in it in the future.
I did it because it was a week of firsts for my son, and it needed to be a week of firsts for his Daddy too.