Jack, as you probably all know by now, is my hero. This little boy has endured so much, yet you would never know by his smile. Even so, my heart still drops, two and a half years later, when I get a phone call from the hospital where Jack spent the first 112 days of his life. He could be standing right beside me, but when I see that area code and first three digits (531), I am immediately taken back to the days when my biggest fear was getting that call, telling us to hurry back to the hospital. I mentioned that in my last post that I had been holding my breath since that first day, but if I really look back, I've been holding my breath even longer.
|My Heroes: Jack and my Dad|
You see, I have another hero. That’s my dad. Tonight we honored him, along with the township he served, for his many years of dedicated service. As a young man, he served our country as a soldier in the United States Army. When that honorable duty was complete, he decided to serve his community. With three young children at home, he made a fateful decision to purchase a bullet-proof vest, which was not provided by his police department at the time. A few years later, that vest would be put to the test when my dad was shot during a domestic dispute call. Even though the vest was not rated to withstand the bullet that entered his chest, he did survive! Instead of that dreaded phone call, we got the late-night knock at the door, telling us of our dad’s life-threatening injury.
Since then, he’s caught robbers, chased down unsafe drivers, and fought the bad guys; all while his family has been praying for his safety and holding our collective breath. He could have left the force after being shot, but continued to serve for over 30 years. I’d like to think that Jack is a lot like my dad. With his rough start, he could have easily given up, but he chose to fight and survive. I couldn’t be more proud of my two heroes, but if I’m being honest, I definitely breathed a sigh of relief tonight. Happy Retirement, Dad! Or, as Jack would say, "Yay Pap!"
*Just a note that we are also proud to have Jack’s Uncle Ryan (whom he's named after) serve our community as police officer! We actually live in his township, so we always feel especially safe when he is on duty. But, of course, holding our breath at the same time!