Look, I’m a Dad. I’m also a US Army Soldier. I have a PhD in Sarcasm and I have the driest sense of humor or so I’ve been told. I’m rarely in situations where I don’t have anything to say and I don’t usually get stage fright. So today when I could barely mutter my son’s name, I didn’t know what to do. This is the child that I named over 9 years ago. I’ve been saying his name several times a day for those 9 years, but sometimes things happen that bring the entire world around you into one very small minute instance where you get tunnel vision and everything else around blurs. I had one of those moments….today.
My son, who is severely disabled and has had to undergo 3 brain surgeries and nearly 15, week long hospitalizations met, face to face, with Pope Benedict XVI. My son and I, along with my wife, are in Rome, Italy thanks to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. We learned he qualified for a wish nearly four years ago and today it came true. Other than my wedding and seeing my children being birthed, I don’t think anything else could compare to how I felt today. Amazing isn’t even close to describing it. Calling this day “amazing” is like saying the sun is as bright as your bedside lamp…it just doesn’t compute.
Being a father isn’t an easy job, but today made all the hard stuff I’ve ever done as a Dad worth it. The Holy Father truly connected with my son. He looked in his eyes..down to his soul and planted a blessing there. It was the kind of blessing that only an ecclesiastical descendent of Jesus and St Peter could give and I pray that it works miracles for my son.