As I write this blog, it is the day after father's day, a special day honoring dads but, in my opinion, really should honor all men even boys, many of whom will be fathers one day. I have been blessed to have several important men in my life. My own biological father, a former World War II pilot, who came home from war, met my mother and gave life to 9 babies, 8 of whom survived, me being the youngest. He loved us all tremendously. My loving, dedicated, hard-working, strong and protective husband, who has been the steady, supportive man that God knew I needed in the journey of my life. I supported him before we married as he took on the tough training of a U.S. Marine Corp reservist. He learned he loved airplanes and that he had the ability to repair them and take on any challenge that he would face in his life.
My husband and I had no idea the challenges we would face as a couple but we were dedicated to each other. We originally said our vows almost 30 years ago. We almost didn't make it past 17 years of marriage because of the long-term aftermath of an illness that struck us back in January 1996. The illness would change the course of our lives forever, but before it struck, I was given a gift. The gift of a beautiful baby boy, who is now another amazing man in my life. Me and my husband's son, who was born just 8 weeks before the illness attacked, has brought such richness and joy into our world.
Despite the many unexpected challenges we have faced as a family, we have been able to keep moving on and help each other the best we could. In my book, A Mother's Climb Out of Darkness, I have shared some of the account of my journey from pre-conception up until 2005. The primary reason for sharing my story was to help encourage other families and mothers to know that they are not alone and there is hope in challenging times surrounding complications related to childbearing. Although the book is written creatively to the benefit of the reader, it is my factual account based on journals, medical records and memories. Maybe one day my son and his dad will have the opportunity to share their perspective, if they choose.
My amazing husband continues to support his family and serve his country as a corporate employee. My son, recently graduated with his bachelor's degree and has decided to continue his studies. The picture, I share with this blog is what I saw on what was once his bed the day after his graduation. It warmed my heart to see the cap and gown with the stuffed animals because, it reminded me that the love he received growing up far outweighed the challenges he faced. The ultimate love of parents, with the help of prayer, professional therapy, as well as support from family & friends, helped him become a caring, considerate and thoughtful man, who now wants to continue to dedicate his life and future career to helping others. The job of a father (and a mother) change over the life of a child but, being a parent is, in my opinion, the most important job on the planet.
The parent's job ideally should never end early, which leads me to another amazing man in my life, my father-in-law (I prefer to call him my dad by marriage:). You never can completely understand another person's journey because we are all unique and each journey is different. I didn't know my dad by marriage when his oldest son died tragically in a car accident when he was just 17 years old. Suffering a miscarriage was the closest thing I had experienced to the loss of a child. But now that I have a son, who is past the age of 17, I can only imagine the pain of the loss. I would not be who I am without the support and love from my husband's father and mother. Not only did they give life to the man, who is my husband, the father of my son and the love of my life, they also supported me, my husband and son later in the journey, when no one else was available. I am blessed that my dad by marriage is still in my life. He is still a dedicated husband, father and grandfather to this day. I only hope & pray that he is still alive on the day in the future that he earns the amazing title of "great grandfather."
I recognize that many individuals have not had positive experiences with the men in their lives. This can make challenges much harder to overcome. I can only speak from my own journey and what I have learned is that overcoming challenges is a process. The process for me has been difficult but not nearly as difficult as the process has been for others. For me, the goal in the process has been to live a healthy, productive, peaceful life in which I can help others and give back to the community. I am thankful that the men in my life have been and continue to be instrumental in helping me work towards my goal. Wisdom, which has come from my life experience, formal and informal education as well as just getting older helps me better understand what is needed in staying focused on the goal AND, thankfully, I am blessed to have access to the care of knowledgeable and caring professionals, whom partner with me so I can stay the course in achieving the goal. Of course, my mission of bringing hope and inspiration to others facing life challenges, is best achieved by being in a place of peace. Although my journey and goal is ongoing, I am thankful to be in the place of peace.
Happy Father's Day! My hope is for many blessings and shalom (Hebrew for overall peace) not just to the men in the world but to each individual facing the challenges of life.
Sincerely & Warmly (as I am currently having a hot "flush"....LOL),
~Jennifer Hentz Moyer~