You became a father just over ten years ago.
It was not what any of us expected. 
Instead of bottles and dirty diapers and colic, you learned the CICU (cardiac intensive care unit) routine, measured powerful heart medications, and learned to feed Ellie with an NG (naso-gastic) tube.
You also learned what happened to the woman you married
after months devoid of sleep and filled with uncertainty and fear.
And yet, you stayed. You rose to the occasion. 
You led us calmly through the terrifying heart surgeries, life-threatening illnesses, and myriad complications.
You also embraced fatherhood of typical, healthy, normally-developing children.
Somehow you managed to keep a level head despite your atypical introduction to fatherhood.
I think the kids will turn out moderately normal, thanks to you.
You embraced with grace the complications we discovered with our youngest
and helped us all keep laughing.
 And that little guy has turned out to be the best comic relief since…
well, since you.

You steadied the boat rocked by Ellie’s death and the subsequent unravelings.

(Photo copyrighted and used with permission from Shelby Birdwell Photography.)
I love you.
Happy Father’s Day.

holy experience

(Linked with Ann Voskamp. Click over to read more love letters)