The Ups and Downs of Father’s Day

I was asked to write an essay for the Richmond Times Dispatch in 2010 about the experience of Father’s Day for parents of children with disabilities.  Yes, Father’s day for parents of disabled children is different from normal families because every day is different from normal families.  There is not doubt that it is tough having two sons that will never progress beyond an infant mentality and ability.  We are only one of millions of parents with this dilemma, so our situation is not better or worse than many others.  While normal parents may count accolades and soccer wins, we have tallied 38 surgeries between our sons.  My wife is our guardian angel and keeps it all together.  Sometimes I don’t think she knows our children have severe disabilities.  She makes their world normal.  We love our sons and although they cannot tell us verbally, they love us too.  They say it every time they smile.  I went into their rooms today and got a sincere loving smile from both Joey and Evan.  That is all I wanted, that is all I needed. Parents of special needs children have a special level of toughness.  They have to; they don’t know what may happen next or how long their children will live.  If you are reading this and have special needs children or know families that do, you understand.  If you are reading this and you have normal children, then please hug them and cherish them, today and everyday.  Life is fragile.

Happy Father’s Day to all dads.

(If you are unable to read the article below, click here for a PDF version.

 

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Joe Niamtu, III DMD

Cosmetic Facial Surgery

Richmond, Virginia