Byron would say when the pastor invites us to bow to pray some do. Others take pictures 🙂 – photo credit Andrew/Stephanie Rempel
Forward: I often tease Byron that he lacks expression and the ability to be real with his emotions. Often using descriptive words like “nice” and “good” I am constantly surprised and proud of him as he deals with people with calmness, diplomacy and a quiet(er) strength. The last time he wrote the blog post his words were so touching and many people responded with warmth to his blog. So I asked him again and was surprised that once again he delivered. Take it away, Byron!
A Father’s Day Blog – Byron Loeppky
I have written one other Father’s Day blog and that was in June of 2017. I was flying back from Europe after a 9-day trip. Today I write this as I return from a 2-day trip to Omaha. Apparently flying with no internet leads Ang to believe I will have some free time to write. Anyway, here we go.
I wrestled with what to talk about but decided on two topics. Gratitude and funerals (how’s that for a Father’s Day blog topic). Let’s begin with gratitude.
I will list some of my areas of gratitude in our journey with Hannah:
- Ang (CEO of Hannah Inc.)
- Ang (Mother)
- Ang (Wife)
- Ang (you get the idea)
- Emily (I am so proud of you)
- Our church family
- Our parents
- Our extended family
- Our friends (where would we be without you)
- Our community
- Blue Sky Opportunities
- Special Olympic volunteers, athletes, and supporters. If you ever want a good cry, go to a Special Olympics track meet. You will never be the same.
- Yoga class participants who treat Hannah like gold
- Three wheeled bike that allows Hannah to go for bike rides with us (freedom)
- Doctors and nurses (thankfully we do not know them as well anymore)
- Government workers who support Hannah and us as we navigate the special needs world
- Hannah’s music nights at a friend’s house
- Eastview Care Home where Hannah and I visit
- Our respite workers (you know who you are, but you probably do not realize how important you are to our lives)
- Lastly but most importantly our faith. A Heavenly Father who provides, sustains, loves us unconditionally and gives hope and strength during all situations. We have never been alone on this journey. This brings me peace.
Other than our own family, I have not used names to protect the privacy of those who work for us and with us and support us in countless ways.
Now life and death has been front and center the last few years as I have started attending far more funerals than weddings. I guess it means we are at that stage of life. Not a bad place but a different place. However, each funeral (and it feels like there have been a lot in the last few years) is another reminder of our own mortality. But beyond that it is a constant reminder to us as parents of a special needs child that we need to ensure Hannah will be cared for long after we have shed this mortal coil.
This weighs heavy on us as we try to anticipate what and when do we make life adjustments that are in Hannah’s best interest even though we as parents are not ready. Let’s begin with the following question. When should Hannah move out of our home? Well one option is to wait until both of us have passed away. Certainly takes the pressure off us to make any decisions but is not fair to Hannah or those left to care for her. This situation is now in crisis and the best decisions and opportunities rarely get made while in crisis.
Whatever we decide and whenever it gets decided it will be the best we could come up with under the current circumstances. Just another bit of reality for us than is different than some others.
Father’s Day also reminds me of my own father who passed away 28 years ago. It is sobering to realize that I have lived longer without my father than with him. I am almost 3 years older than he was when he passed away. He remains a significant influence in my life long after his passing. I hope I have had a meaningful impact on our children’s lives the way he had on mine.
To all the fathers out there, HAPPY FATHERS DAY!!