Growing up, we never celebrated Fathers or Mothers’ Day. It was my Great Grandmothers’ opinion that every day was Father/Mothers’ Day and Hallmark was who profited from it. I certainly see her point, but it is kind of nice to recognize the work put into parenting – especially as we don’t get raises, promotions, vacations or sick days – but it is the most rewarding job of all.
I know there are many, many Dads’ out there who either live in Chronic Pain or with someone who does. Sadly, although women have a great freedom of expression, men don’t. In the CPJ Facebook Group – it is about 30% men – and I couldn’t tell you what my male readership is. Not many men have commented either directly to me or on this Blog. However, I suspect, women don’t have a monopoly on this illness – men are just more reluctant to share.
Maybe because men still need to be perceived as tough, strong and capable. The sole person to protect and care for their spouses and children. If they are in pain – they may feel weak, afraid or less of a man than they should. If they live with a Painie, they may feel helpless, hopeless and lost. Unable to help or fix the problem. However, I disagree with this philosophy.
It takes commitment, strength of character and immense love to cope with this life – and still have fun.
So for those Painie Dads’ out there – I truly salute you. Your involvement, love and time are what your children need – they need you. In all your broken bits and pieces. Remember your children – don’t know any differently. They don’t see your bumps or bruises – they see you.
They will model themselves after a parent who stayed in the game, regardless of their situation. They will feel treasured, loved and worthy because of watching your struggles. It is seeping in little by little. Even if you feel that you are failing, that you are not enough. The fact is – you are – you are their father. That is what they need.
I have watched many families, who take their lives for granted. Lord knows, I certainly did. They don’t understand that life can change on a dime – and are you truly prepared for what comes next? Some parents blithely miss performances or games, skip parent/teacher meetings and maybe think, by providing the “stuff”, they are providing for them. That isn’t being a father.
This past week, my body collapsed again. I pushed myself too hard – because I was feeling good and wanted to suck up every moment I could. I slept for 3 days and then vomited in pain for a solid 47 hours. My husband – came home from work early every day. He took our daughters to their scheduled birthday parties, dance classes etc. He made all their meals and helped them with their homework. He was stressed and upset – but he got elbows deep into the mess.
That is what makes a Dad.
So, to you Dads’ out there who are Painies or who live with one – celebrate, enjoy your children and be proud of the example you are setting.