Tonight, as I was tucking my son into bed, he said to me, "Dad, you're the best Dad!" in only a way a six year old boy can. I mean, every day I'm touched by his sweetness, but tonight seemed especially fond. We had a nice night; we got some food, and then drove to Green Lakes State Park. He and his sister asked if they could go to the beach and watch the sunset. It was cooler, but still a beautiful spring day. It was a perfect little evening; I sat at a picnic table, eating my dinner and they ran out the beach near the water. The sun began to fade down behind the mountains... one of those little moments in life you're just glad you're around from. So after watching some cartoons together before bed, I settled them into their beds. After his glowing affirmation, he said to me, "Someday, when I grow up and I'm a Dad, I'm going to be a good Dad too."
Sometimes the things your children say just hit you deep in your soul - those places that make you intimately human and touch your mortality. In an instant, I realized - even with the best medicine, and best care... the likelihood of me ever living to see my son become a father is not to be. And, I have to admit, it hurt. I kissed him and his sister goodnight, and wished them sweet dreams, trying my best not to let the flood of tears that welled up inside rush out. I closed their door, went into my room, and let it out. A few heaving sobs - they're such good kids. It's been the joy of my life to spend the last six years with him, and five with his sister. I mean, I've done a lot of great things in my life, but being a father is something I actually thought would never happen. So I focused so much on just surviving and being alive to see that. Now when I think of the prospect of me not being there to see him become a man, see him become a father... I can't tell you the sadness I feel. I would love to be there for him and his sister. But I don't see it in my card. The fact that I've lived for almost 20 years with ESRD is a miracle in an of itself. If I get another 20 years of life, it will be a great miracle. And even then, he may not grow to be a father. I would love to see it. Love to be there for him as we grow old together - to share whatever bits of knowledge I can; share whatever useless gook I've crammed into my brain over a life time, and to share the boundless love in my heart I feel for him. Oh, but I doubt I will be there and it absolutely crushes me to my soul. I don't think I've ever felt heartsickness quite like this one. I'm going to be there for them for as long as I can, but I want to stay forever, just to be close to them. Someday they "won't need me" as much. And that will hurt too, I'm sure. So I'm going to ask those of you who know me, and may be around - watch him for me. Watch them both for me. Let them know their Dad loved them so much, from the minute they were born, and he always wished and hoped he'd see the day they grew into the people they'd become. If you ever see them missing me, don't hesitate to tell them that I'm always with them, and that I loved them more than I could ever truly say. Though I know I'll spend all my time trying to do so.