You know, the call.
You know, the amount of times that you pick it up and it feels like a million pounds. The weight of calling a loved one to deliver the bad news You remember it; “Mom, Dad, we are at the hospital, she has type one diabetes.” Or the call with even worse news. Remember those?
Well today I am reminding you to remember the opposite occasions. The times you were so excited that you could not dial the phone. You were smiling so hard that your face hurt. You were giddy, a song in your heart; the earth could not be more beautiful. Cell phone or old-time-rotary phone, it did not matter—–you oozed joy.
Today is such a reminder of such a day. Our first-born arrived 27 years ago this date. Thomas James entered the world and our lives would be enriched and changed forever. A father could not be prouder of his kids, and each of ours has incredible strengths.
I have often stated that my kids are far from perfect, just like their dad. But they provide us with such incredible joy. We always look to teach our children, to be the mentor; many times—-they teach us.
My son is fiercely dedicated. If you are not his friend, you’ll know that but if you are, he will be there for you at every turn. He has taught me the meaning of absolute friendship. He has a group of guys and girls that have a bond of which I have never experienced before. Most are in the fire department with him, perhaps that has something to do with it.
They are as silly as they are serious and they enjoy each other beyond measure. I truly love TJ’s friends. “Hey Mr. K”, is the sound I love to hear from them each time I see them.
He has a very protective side to him as well. He has, on more than one occasion, stood up for others and his family in ways that one would need to experience to fully understand; rather than me try to explain.
I, me, personally never owned a pet until I was a father; and watching TJ’s love for animals has taught me a great deal. Why, me the man who would never own a dog, now has two.
I have written many times about the way TJ and his colleagues approach firefighting. He was part of a group that I will always call “Tony’s boys”—a mentor who once said to me, “Tom, my boys go in and come out of fires. I will always have their backs.” And the entire time he taught them, outside of a few scratches, he was true to his word.
Tony’s boys turned into fine young men who are a tightly knit group that will be there for each other in all things good and evil. They are men; faults and all: but there for each other. There is also a strong bond with all of his friends which of course include women as well, but it is this group of guys he has known all of his life that I have watched grow right along side of him. They all play a role within society, and this does not surprise me. Military, EMS, Police, Fire Department, Linemen, Post office and more—–they connect and watch over all of us.
I write a lot about diabetes. It has changed our lives and impacted us beyond anything anyone could have ever imagined. When my younger two children were diagnosed; along with Jill, someone else was there thorough all of it also. A lot of attention is given to our children with diabetes; we tried to do what we could to balance those scales with TJ, who does not. It’s tough to be ‘the child without diabetes’ in the attention category within a family unit.
He is 27 today. He bears my first and last name. I am so proud of him and everything he does. Happy Birthday son. I love you bunches.
“Hi mom, dad……it’s a boy. We had a boy. Thomas James and we will probably call him TJ. Yes, mom and baby are doing great. Yes, he weighed………………………….”
I am a diabetes dad.
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