Monday, May 2, 2011

Thank you to my Dad

After almost three months of living with us, my Dad headed home. It's hard to even put words to how grateful I am for the gift that he's given my boys. I know I was able to carry these babies longer thanks to all the help he gave us. In addition, our worries over who would be here to care for Colin when we could not were completely lifted.

He did all the non-glamorous jobs around the house that somehow needed to get done despite everything going on. The trash cans were always empty, the kitchen was cleaned, the grocery shopping completed, and the laundry done. Chris would joke how he'd place a sock in the laundry basket and an hour later it would be clean and back in his closet. I still can't figure out how he managed to stay on top of the laundry.... I sure can't seem to do that! Most importantly, my Dad cared for Colin in all the ways that I could not (lifting him onto the bar stools for lunch, dressing him, carrying him up the stairs for nap time, chasing him at the park, going on long walks).

When I was in the hospital for three weeks, my Dad's role in Colin's little world became even more important. Chris was still working as much as possible (so that he could save his time off for when the babies arrived), while caring for me at the hospital, and spending time with Colin at home. It was a lot to juggle. Every single morning, my Dad drove Colin to the hospital to spend time with me. The three of us would often take a "field trip" down the hospital lobby and sit by the windows. Colin would watch the cars, trucks and buses going by and my Dad and I would talk. Although that time period was incredibly challenging, I carry with me such fond memories of our chats by the window.

Thanks to my Dad, Colin got introduced to Costco where they'd visit often. Chris and I aren't members but my Dad is. I have to do cartwheels to get Colin to try new foods at home but he can't get enough of the samples at Costco! Apparently as soon as they'd enter Costco Colin would say, "Eat!" and they'd travel around to all the sample tables. Cracks me up. Chris and I also now have jumbo size containers of salt, milk, baby wipes, you name it. :)

The two of them also spent a lot of time out front doing yard work and greeting people passing by. Just the other day I was sitting out front with Colin and a man walking his dog strolled by and asked, "How are the triplets?!" I had no idea who he was so I cautiously responded, "Good". As he walked off he said, "I've heard all about them because I'm friends with your Dad." Ha! We've lived here almost three years and know very few neighbors. My Dad's here three months and gets to know most of them. No surprise there.

Each night before bed, Colin would kiss Pop-Pop goodnight and say "Help, help!" while pretending to shovel and work. My Dad would make the same gesture and say, "You bet! Get a goodnight sleep and tomorrow we'll work again! I'm going to need your help!" "Okay!", Colin would respond, with a big smile on his face, clearly excited for the next day. No matter how early Colin would get up, my Dad was always happy and willing to get up and play.

Needless to say, we loved having my Dad around. When I rewind a few years to the day I sat by his hospital bed and learned he had stage 4 multiple myeloma, one of the things I wondered most was, "Will my children get to know him?" Well, not only does Colin know him, but they have formed a deep and lasting bond. For that I am so grateful.

When my Dad packed up his things and left last week I didn't know quite how to thank him for what he's done for us, except to say that we are better for his example, and that we'll look to pay it forward with our own boys.

One last picture before saying goodbye

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