Dear disabled daddy cutler

Dear Disabled Daddy

This Father’s Day, I want to give a big shoutout to all the awesome dads out there.  Dad shaming is a real thing. Many sitcom TVs shows use it as their one and only punch line. Some moms meet up to vent on their husbands non-stop. We need to stand up and honor great dads because their impact goes farther than we realize. 

I’ve heard that kids are more likely to suceed in life if they have a dad who is present in their life (versus not present) even if they have an AWESOME mom.  While moms do a great job {okay, we kick-butt day in and out}, we can’t downplay the impact of a present father.  For kids without present fathers, having an awesome male father figure in their life proves just as positive longterm. And I’m not saying kids cannot succeed without a present father or father-figure, they can! But with an awesome father/father-figure, they are certainly blessed!!!! Let’s not take that for granted this year.

This Father’s Day I wanted to share a letter I wrote my husband last father’s day (2019) from the eyes of my son (who was 7 at the time).  Let’s raise a glass to cheers and thank all the awesome fathers and father-figures out there – you do more than you know and our kids are always watching you.

{PS: It’s a tear jerker, sorry in advance.}

Dear Disabled Daddy,

This Father's Day I hope you know how much you are loved by mommy and me (and brother and sister too!) I didn't have a chance to buy you anything because I traded my last dollars for some candy, but mom said you would love a letter just as much. I thought you would like some of my Pokemon cards, but I don't have any ready that are leveled up to give you. By the way thanks for taking me the Pokemon movie. Did you know that was the first movie in 4 years you took me too? I'm not telling you because I'm mad. I liked seeing the Good Dinosaur with you when I was 3. I'm just glad we were able to go again. I know that when I was 4, 5, and 6 you were sick with Lyme disease and couldn't do much. I hate ticks.

I can't believe that you are driving me around more lately. We didn't use the truck for 3 years when you couldn't drive. I like when you wake up early with me and make me breakfast (you make bacon better than mommy). I like when you drive me to gymnastics and get a treat at the Kwik Trip after. But, to be honest, I liked you even when you couldn't do those things when I was 4,5 and 6. Sometimes I caught you crying dad and it made me sad. I think it's good to know boys can cry too. Sometimes I try to hold it in and be tough, but you taught me that when you really care about something or someone it's ok to cry.

Sometimes brother and I would be talking to you and you'd scream out in pain. You were really in pain and it was scary, but mainly it just made us really really sad for you. I stubbed my toe once so I know how bad things can hurt. I'm sorry you hurt. I'm glad you are feeling better. I don't understand why you got sick and other daddies are ok, but you showed me and brother all the good things that were possible at a time when things were really down for you. Mommy says you got work awards and most people thought you were too sick to even work. How did you do that daddy?

Sometimes I caught mommy crying. She did it a lot in the car. She didn't know I knew. She told us to keep praying hard that you would get better. She told us that God is still good even if you don't. She did a lot of work while you were sick and couldn't get out of bed or sit in chairs or drive. She is a tough mommy, but I think you are even tougher. See, I pay attention if when you don't think I do. I'm always looking and listening and I never heard you be angry or mad about your condition. You never asked for people to feel really really bad for you (mom said that word I'm looking for is pity). You were always reading and trying to learn ways to get better. And you are getting better! You still praised God for the blessings you did have. You told mom that your motivation to stay strong was your family.

You talked about Lyme alot, but it's ok because I just like spending time with you. I remember lying on your back (because you could only lay on your stomach then) by the beach in Michigan and you crutching out in the lake. That was fun. I remember the time when you and I stayed home while Brooks and mommy and Yaya went to go get our sister in Florida. I could tell you really wanted to be there, but I liked that time with you. And now our baby sister is 1 1/2 and obsessed with her "DA!".

Another thing you never did was give up. I hope I am like that when I face hard times when I am big (like 9 and 10). I tell all my friends at school how tough my daddy is for fighting so hard and for being so happy even when you can't do the things you want to do. I wish this didn't happen to you daddy but I'm still glad you are my daddy you are the BEST dad.

I know in time we'll get to catch up on playing catch and fishing and all those things you talked about wanting to do with me. Mommy says that the most important thing is that we love each other and Jesus. In school I learned that with God, things aren't so scary or bad even when they are hard. I like praying in school. I prayed for you a lot.

I am very proud of my daddy. He isn't like other daddies. He has it really hard and doesn't complain. Now that you are getting better you always want to do the things you couldn't do before. It's so much fun when we go to the park, read books, go for bike rides and sit on the front porch of our new house. I hope you can walk without crutches soon. Maybe one day you'll run. All I know is that it isn't what a daddy physically can do to be a good dad, it matters who he is and you are THE best no matter what.

Love,

2020 Update: I will say that when I look back at the photos of when my husband was disabled and all the pictures are of me and the kids out doing something while he was laid up at the home, it makes me sad. Because now, with hindsight, I realize that as hard as I was struggling without his help or company, he was at home…alone…willing to give ANYTHING to be with us and being as positive for us as possible throughout.

As of 2020, he’s doing better. Currently able to bike, walk and drive.  We try not to live in fear of him becoming totally disabled again; we are trusting God and enjoying the healthy moments we do have (more than we would enjoy them had we not been through what we’ve been through.

Story of Adoption - Cutler Family

Click on the picture to learn more about the Cutler’s adoption story of their daugther from Florida. 

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