MEN CRY TOO
By Kevin Brewbaker
When a child is born with a disability we hear mostly from mothers and well we should. In most cases they bear the brunt of their child's disease. Not much is said about the fathers. True, there are those who choose to run or to just turn their backs and not get involved. I don't consider them to be men at all. But ,there are real men who are there constantly and fight for their child everyday and this is for them.
When my child was born though I held it together for my family...when I was alone I cried
As I watched countless doctors prod and poke then deliver the news I held my wife tightly as I cried inside.
I watched as other children the same age meet milestone after milestone and as mine struggled to get to one I cried in lonely celebration
I work with my child with physical and occupational therapists both at home and in clinics trying to get to the next level. When she fails I cry. When she succeeds I cry.
Test after test, poke after poke, I see her take it all in stride for it's what she knows and I cry.
I hear the whispering talk when they see her port wine stains and I hear the "what is wrong with her" comments and I cry.
I see her weakness as she approaches stairs and I try to take her hand but she boldly says " I do it" and I cry.
I count the minutes when she enters a seizure praying all the time it doesn't go over 5 minutes and as I look at her limp body..I cry.
Then seizures come one after another and I cry as I race her to an emergency room 15 minutes farther because our local hospital knows nothing about her disease.
As I watch ER techs doing all within their power to stop them I feel so alone and break down in the arms of a social worker.
I see a little body laying in a hospital bed with tubes and monitors, laying lifeless from a ball of energy just yesterday... and I cry.
I cry reading words of encouragement from people that have never met her yet love her and follow her journey.
I see my other child ,who does not understand, feel like his sister is getting special treatment because he does not understand all these trips to doctors and therapists are NOT trips to Chucky Cheese.
As fathers of children with disabilities we try so desperately to hold it together for our families so we cry alone most of the time.
So do we fathers cry a lot? Yeah, we do but I guarantee you, we do not cry for ourselves. We cry for our children, our wives and families. Women like to talk about things and guys just want to fix things and be done. We cry because we are helpless. We can't fix this and it's hard on us. We just want to fix it and be done. So we cry alone hoping no one sees us and thinks we are weak. But we are far from weak. We will fight with every ounce of our being until these diseases, syndromes and the like are beaten.