I went to the baseball game last night with my 5-year-old buddy Jacob. He is essentially a grandson to me as he and his mother lived in my house for the first 4 years of his life. Anyway, there we were with his mom and dad, my nurse and myself and little Jacob who was having the time of his life.
His mother had a car accident several years ago and now suffers with a variety of symptoms including severe back pain. She feels such guilt about what she cannot do with him, feeling awful about all he is missing because of her disabilities.
I told her I felt that guilt for nearly 30 years. All I could think about was not being able to teach my girls how to ride their bikes, play soccer with them or teach them how to drive. And then I had dinner with my daughter Debbie one evening about 5 years ago. We’ve always had the kind of relationship where we can have heart to heart talks.
So I shared with her all of the pain I carry for all of these years. I cried as I told her because I felt such searing sadness. And when I was done, it was her turn to cry. She cried only because her father was suffering. She said: “anybody can teach us how to ride bikes and play soccer. And I certainly wouldn’t want to learn to drive from you! But nobody could give us the kind of time, patience, understanding and love that you gave us. Most fathers are just too busy. I cried again.
That’s why I didn’t feel so guilty when I told Jacob that we had to leave the game in the 5th inning because I was freezing my butt off. Because we are such close buddies, at his tender age he understands that I can freeze my butt off fairly easily!