May 18, 2009

Dads and Devotion

A quick story about a Father's dedication to one of his children.

I visit a Starbucks in town, and one of the baristos is a very friendly, intelligent gentleman that I've chatted with while buying my usual grande coffee over the years. Turns out he's Dad to a young man who suffered a traumatic brain injury some years ago in a motor vehicle collision. The boy's brain was badly damaged, and only this year has the young man recovered enough to resume active life, and even attend college. The early days of the injury were, to say the least, catastrophic and frightening. Only through Marionjoy and days and weeks of this Dad's caregiving and love and dedication did this young man pull out of his injury far enough to allow the brain to heal, and allow him to attend school on a part time basis.

I think with compassion of the Dads who work hard and struggle to pay child support. I think without fondness of those biofathers that hide, and avoid work, refusing to support their children. I think without fondness of parents who really don't want to put the effort into parenting their children.

And then I think of Dean, who defines what the word "hero" means. His heroic support, love, and caregiving to his son has allowed this young man to recover. They don't give out combat medals to Dads like Dean, but if they did, he'd receive a Purple Heart for the blood, sweat, and tears he's lost over the last years, as well as a Silver Star for bravery and dedication to his son's recovery.

There are hero Dads among us. Just stop in this Starbucks, and meet a veteran of a war to rehabilitate a child with a TBI.