Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Tuesday Treasures: Hunter

Today is a very special installment of Tuesday Treasures. It's a happy coincidence because today is Hunter's birthday.

Hunter is nine years old today.

Since July 27, 2001, everything I've done has been for my kids, first Hunter and now Hunter and Blake.

I've already told you about the night I almost lost both of my kids, so I won't go into that here. If you haven't read it, you can see it HERE.

I love both of my sons equally, but Hunter does have the added distinction of being my first child.

He also did something remarkable before he was even born.

My dad was sick. He had been a heavy smoker for over forty years, worked in a machine shop with various fumes and microscopic metal shavings working their way into his lungs, and there's a possibility that he'd had some exposure to Agent Orange while serving in Viet Nam.

My dad was a wonderful man, but he did have his stubborn streaks. His view was "If I go to the doctor, he's just going to tell me I'm dying anyway, so what's the point?"

Shortly after I found out that I would be a father, I sat down with my dad.

"Dad," I said, "I'm going to be a Dad too, now. I need for you to go and see a doctor, because I won't know what I'm doing. I need you. I need for my son to know his Papaw. I don't want him to only know you from pictures."

My dad did go to his doctor. It turns out that, yes, his condition was serious, but not as bad as he'd been afraid of. He quit smoking, took early retirement from work, and was there the day Hunter was born.

The only time in my life I ever saw my dad cry was when he held Hunter for the first time and said, "When I think about how close I came to never seeing him..."

He went on to enjoy three more years of life, and I think they were among three of the best years of his life. He and Hunter were inseparable, and to this day, Hunter has good memories of his Papaw.

Because of Hunter, I had three more years with my dad than I would have. Because of Hunter, my dad had three more years of life than he would have. Hunter was strong enough, even before he was born, to reach out and save my dad's life.

Hunter is my son.

He is my pride, my joy.

He is also my hero.

Happy birthday, Hunter. I love you.

Thanks for reading my ranting,



  1. Why do your post on your sons always make me want to cry? Very touching, Brad.

  2. Your post made me tear up, too. The love you have for your boys radiates every time you talk about them.

    What is he holding in that picture? It looks a little like a bow grip except the wood is so straight.

  3. Brandi, I think it's because I cry every time I write something like this about either one of them.
    Jaleh, that's actually an unstrung fiberglass bow that my mother had when she was a kid. The tips are broken off so it can't be re-strung, but every time she tries to throw it out, Hunter sneaks it back in.
    That's his "Avatar Aang" pose.