My adult son’s gifts help strengthen his relationship with his brother

How Julian's move back home has benefited our entire family

Joe MacDonald avatar

by Joe MacDonald |

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My oldest son, Julian, possesses many talents. Last August, he moved back home to save some money. He continues auditioning for theaters, hoping to make a living as a professional entertainer. I’m a little biased (OK, a lot), but his voice is in tip-top condition, and he can adequately compete against anyone in the business. Moving home allows him to focus on projects to further his career without having to worry about rent or other bills.

At first, I thought it would be somewhat challenging to acclimate to having another adult in the house. I remembered living with him as a child, but he’d been on his own for eight years, and I didn’t know his routine as a grown-up. Having Julian back home brought a little anxiety. How would his presence affect the routine my wife, youngest son, and I had forged? I was curious whether there was enough space to hold us all.

My fears subsided within a week. I first noticed Julian’s appreciation for letting him move back in with us. He made himself available to help with basic household chores and provided transportation for my youngest son, Caeleb. In no time, Julian became a crucial part of the house, and I realized I appreciated the man he’d become.

One of the most remarkable ways he contributes to the house is by cooking. My wife and I looked at him one day and asked, “Will you please cook for us this evening?” Soon, we smelled magic from the kitchen as he made tortillas from scratch and used spices that offer the best aromas known to man. He made a culinary dish fit for a king.

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A blood brotherhood

While all his contributions are magnificent, Julian takes special pride in one particular task: growing his relationship with his younger brother. Julian never realized the extent to which Caeleb suffered from chronic pain brought on by years of breakthrough spontaneous bleeding episodes due to complications of hemophilia. He also discovered how much his mother and I have struggled to help Caeleb with school, with very little success.

Before Julian moved home, I’d felt defeated, having tried every Jedi mind trick known to man. But no matter what I said to Caeleb, I couldn’t motivate him to take an interest in his academic development. The weight of his pain put him in a space that offered little to no respite to focus on other activities to further his life. My wife and I wondered what we might do to help our youngest son.

One day, when things seemed very dark, Julian came to me and said, “Dad, let me take care of Caeleb. I can talk to him differently.” Feeling at the end of my rope, I told him to give it his best shot. Within a week, we noticed a significant improvement in Caeleb’s grades and how he maneuvered through the world with chronic pain.

I looked at my oldest son as some miracle worker with divine capabilities. I learned that Julian’s love for his family compels him to offer the best of himself. I also know that both of my sons have bleeding disorders. While Julian can’t understand the complications that Caeleb faces, he has experienced firsthand the pain of an internal bleed. The boys share a blood brotherhood that I will never know.

Although Julian is 10 years older than his brother, they talk as adults, and I feel blessed to witness their relationship. I stand and watch my two amazing sons share life’s issues, giving thanks to my creator. I don’t know what the future holds for Julian and Caeleb, but I’m confident that neither will ever be alone because they have each other. Both men, who share a diagnosis of hemophilia, stand together to celebrate and offer help on their journeys.

What could make a dad any prouder?

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, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to hemophilia.


Allison Pohl avatar

Allison Pohl

Bravo! I always love to hear about the life adventures of J & C!

Joe MacDonald avatar

Joe MacDonald

Thank you, Allison. I also enjoy seeing your posts on Facebook. When did our kids get so big?



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