I asked Paul to share with me what it means to be Grady & Mason’s Father, I never would have imagined just how wonderfully he would articulate his emotions and honesty in a post….
So with Fathers day approaching I sit here and think about what a father really is! A father is a leader, a father is a guide, a father is someone who takes care of you always, but most important a father is love!!! So to my second born son (Grady or Grady Grades as I like to call you) You may be second born but you are second to none!!! I never imagined that I would be able to love two boys as much as I do! In fact when we got your diagnosis I was absolutely scared! I thought to myself I have a hard enough time loving one son now a son with T-21? What , how, would I be able to give enough love to not only two boys but one as important as you! Well fortunate for me God has made his way into my life, I should say I started allowing myself to listen! Just before your diagnosis I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. God prepared me for not only discovering your secret but to prepare me to be the Christian father/leader for our family. The following week we got your news. Naturally my first thoughts were how and why. Then as I really started to think about you overwhelming love over took my heart and soul. I am not gonna lie, I had a couple bad moments here and there for a couple days. Sometimes Your mom and I would say how we were having a bad minute then a good one. A difficult one to swallow. As a United states Marine your emotions do not exist! It is instilled in you from day one once you step foot on those yellow foot prints at Parris Island. You are trained to shoot and to kill. Not to much room for emotion there. You begin to numb yourself for what you are about to endure the next few years. That numbness got me home to my future bride,Erin, four deployments and through a lot of difficult times. I found it hard to really feel again for a long time. As much as I knew that I loved I just couldn’t feel.
FFWD – So now back to reality. We began to take, what seemed to the local doctors, as negative news and embraced it. Over the next couple of weeks your mom and I would do all we could for you! We got you the best doctors and physicians we could. Tons of ultra sounds and trips an hour and a half away. We wanted the best for you! By the grace of God we had awesome people on our “Team Grady”. They helped and explained. We read the internet, watched movies, read books and just plainly familiarized ourselves with the adventure we were about to embark on. The more I saw you in your moms womb the more I fell in love with you!!! I was so grateful to God that you appeared in good physical health! Then something occurred to me. With the joyful and sad tears I realized I could feel again. Welling up now I am so grateful for that. So the day came for you to make your debut. As I walked around with your mother I couldn’t believe it was time for us to have the pleasure of finally getting to meet our Grady man! So proud of her, your momma pushed you out naturally and you were here. The room filled with joyful tears as you cried your first cries and even peed on the women that were wiping you off! I was so proud to be “your father”!!! For that week you were in the hospital I fell more and more in love with you. I knew then that you had been sent by God himself to us and that you were going to do big things.
Present day- So now we have these early intervention folks coming to our home to see you and to assist you in your development. They are amazed at how superb you are doing! Everyday I am more and more proud of you. So your pretty much the man. I am looking forward to being both Mason and your dad for as long as I can. We have so many things to do and to learn, together! Fathers day, for most, is just a day that kids get there dads a tie or a shirt that they probably won’t wear. For me fathers day is about my kids, how they helped lead me to God, how they helped me to feel again! So here’s to my two boys and wife, Happy Fathers Day! I sit here and think about what a father really is! A father is a leader, a father is a guide, a father is someone who takes care of you always, but most important a father is love!!! Thanks to God, Mason and Grady!