“A man never stands as tall as when he kneels to help a child.”
When looking back on our 4.5 years of treatment, I honestly don’t know how we did it. The operative word is WE. My husband Brent, has been an anchor throughout a very trying time in our lives. Our son Jake was diagnosed with Acute Lymphocitic Leukemia shortly before he turned 2. We were both working full time and going about life at a crazy pace. Brent selflessly quit his full time job to stay at home with Jake. I don’t know many men that would take a step down, but Brent embraced it. Instead of sitting on the couch waiting for the next fever to appear, Brent and Jake went on lots of adventures. They explored parks, playgrounds, went on bike rides, and just absorbed being together. That’s valuable time that I know they both cherish. How many dad’s look back on those early years and regret not spending more time with their little ones?
When we spent many days and weeks in-patient, I was amazed at how many working moms were juggling everything and the dad’s just weren’t present. A few of the other dads would come for a visit or drop in periodically, but there wasn’t a time that we were at the clinic, at the hospital, or around other families going through chemotherapy that someone didn’t say “You are lucky- your husband is here, he’s helping, he gets it!” I understand circumstances are different for each family, but I am truly thankful that Brent jumped in the way he did.
Even in the super stressful times, I knew Brent understood exactly what I was feeling. I truly believe Jake felt surrounded with love because it wasn’t just one person serving as a care-giver, it was a team effort. We call our caringbridge site “Team Rivers” and that has been a mantra for us over the past several years. Our daughter Megan came along a year into Jake’s diagnosis. Juggling two kids, a household, jobs and a Jack Russell Terrier is as easy as doing a cartwheel while spinning plates. We were able to keep it together with extra support from our team- friends, family, grandparents and especially my team Captain…Brent.
I love you Brent and thanks for being a super Dad!
By: Ellianne Rivers