Open your mind on Father's Day.
Daddy & Daughter
(Father's Day June 2017).
It is Father's Day here in Ireland today, Sunday 18th June 2017. One of the best things that ever happened to me was becoming a Dad. The most ever unusual and indeed intense feelings this bestowed on me has never left me over the past nine years and counting. It is 2007 and Aoife was born at approx 7:11am. I was present for the birth. What an experience !!.
As that morning woke up and kicked in and as I drove home from the hospital later, I cried the whole way. But these tears were different. There was an intensity that needed to escape my mind, or maybe that should read that my mind needed to meet with this intensity.
I will never forget the nano seconds before Aoife came into this world:
"I'm sending you the daughter I always wanted but never had"
There was no mistaking whose presence was in that delivery theatre that morning. Yes, it did get a tad bit embarrassing with the nurses sharing the hankies with patient and Daddy and asking if I was 'OK'. As I said already here, I will never ever forget that morning.
Mama's and Papa's.
To be honest, it was only after being blessed with fatherhood did the penny begin to drop. "Which penny is that Murf?"
The one that up till then, I always assumed that anybody and everybody could be a Mammy or a Daddy if they wanted.
Yes, we had our share of miscarriages earlier on. Laterally, this was going to drive home to me that not everybody will be as lucky as me and Alison were. As parenthood was flipping and tipping along here, it became more obvious that there is beautiful people out there who would just love to have children and you just know that the bestowed children on same would love that Mammy and Daddy, as brilliant Mams and Dad's. So on days like Father's Day and indeed Mothers Day, I think it's so important to recognoise this annomoly and salute the couples who would make AAA+++ Mam's and Dad's, if only given the opportunity.
"I tip my hat in your direction".
With the aforementioned 'typed thoughts' buzzing around in my head this Father's Day morning, my mind came up with another twist to it:
Becoming a parent is not a choice for a lot of people who would dearly love that opportunity.
Being on the receiving end of a serous illness like mine was and is of course a zero choice option.
But then I ask you to twist that graph upside down and look at it another way. I am of course thinking of what can we have an optIon with that is important?
It is our mind of course. Mental health visits a lot of people, even my own family. These days, most of us know how important it is to stay in touch or even keep on top of these things. It so easy to offer up a feeble excuse, ignore the issue and of course, hopelessly move on.
With my inoperable cancer, although now in 2017, If we skew this scenario in the direction of mental health, my options are comparibly limited. I can bring you from my narrow road that's currently navigating my journey, but intently, I can show you a motorway that can help with your mind. Cancer is not an option giving illness. There is so much that cannot be chosen.
However, our mental health is thankfully sitting within a different dimension. There is so much expertise out there in this field. Yes, I know we have to go looking for it, but so what ? You always here me banging on about 'you reap what you sew'.
I have no issue with that.
My point here being that, where my cancer sticks me in a definitive direction, please understand that I have little or indeeed a poor choice in that regard. But once I bring mental health along, the barriers (as perceived with my inoperable cancer) simply begin to fall away and beautifully so. You see, we have options again and in a most vital and important area, the state of our mind, the state of our wellbeing. If the seesaw tips my cancer in one direction, conversely, it also has the ability and resources to also tip me (and you) and indeed our mental health in the other direction. This facility will not stay stuck in the air. Infact, in true see-saw fashion, this option will also kiss the ground too. It's nice to be grounded, isn't it ?
There is always another way.
Please appreciate that and be so mindful of it. For you, your family, your friends, even that nice stranger you might have just met.
I can, of course afford to say all the latter. As I wear my cancer hat, I have a kind of hindsight benefit going on here, but guess what? I can use it, rotate it, and right now, will share it with you here as foresight. If you will, let my hindsight be your foresight. I'll deal with my cancer and the options I have. When you notice that your issues or concerns offers you more scope, grab it with both hands.
I am a staunch believer that there is lazer burning link between cancer and stress. If these two bad boys share a messed up road together, then I want to be the one and go in and totally desimate that route. Remember, there's options and choices. Please know them and please don't be afraid to use them.
Enjoy your Father's Day..