“Hey, Padre!” I hear those words, and all is right with the world. These words are what my eldest son calls me. I can’t remember when he started. All I know is when I hear that small phrase my pulse slows down and I remember that I am loved, and everything else doesn’t seem to be that important. It is impressive that such a tiny group of letters has such a profound effect on my soul. His phrase defines me as I remember again that I connect with him, and he connects with me.
We all have certain words or sentences that remind us of who we are, and remind us that we share a love beyond our understanding. We feel a sense of belonging and security when certain people utter names or phrases. Whatever these words are, we smile and wrap ourselves in a warm blanket of hope and trust.
In families struggling with a chronic illness worry and anxiety can sometimes take over and hold everyone captive. Hope can often lose its way as concerns regarding treatment become the primary focus. While attention to care and addressing medical needs are crucial, we must never forget that we all need validation. Everyone needs to know that they matter. Yes, attending to infusions and other medical needs must never be neglected, but we must also care for one another’s social and spiritual needs. A life of isolation and neglect fails to allow the gifts we can offer the world a chance to surface.
Today I am grateful for the small group of words that collectively give me hope. My family stands together, and I realize that life’s journey is full of twists and turns, but the one constant is the rich meaning behind words and phrases of love that carry us forward. Sometimes they are the only things that push us higher and faster. All we need is the assurance that someone is right there with us.
In our home, I continue to stand by my sons’ sides and root for them as they give themselves another infusion, another medication that brings their quality of life up to a very high level. My wife and I are great cheerleaders, laying aside our own challenges to provide the best care possible. I like to think that the crazy little sayings that we think of on the spot help bring comfort and hope. Light replaces heaviness as we gather together for treatments.
And so, on this Father’s Day, I am reminded that the words “Hey, Padre” bring me to a place of security and purpose. I hope everyone has a phrase or two that makes them smile and feel needed. May the glorious words of acceptance ring like bells in your ears. Take the time to listen and to say something that is positive and filled with life.
Note: Hemophilia News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Hemophilia News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to hemophilia.