Warning Signs of Becoming a Vacant Dad

25 Warning Signs Your Becoming a

  I first used the phrase “vacant dad” a couple of years ago to describe a phenomenon we’re seeing in the special needs community. As I interact daily within the special-needs community, I am convinced that we have an epidemic of vacant dads. I call it the Vacant Dad Syndrome. What exactly is a “vacant Read More…

Even Rocks Get Rope Burns

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    Even rocks get rope burns. And knee bruises too. Constant pressure and stresses on rocks gradually alters their formations and composition over time. Eventually the pressures wear them down. We have a similar phrase some folks have named “compassion fatigue.” Caregivers will understand the reference. So will special-needs parents. So does my wife. Read More…

I Know What Matters

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    He coached my Little League baseball team. He taught me how to drive. He coached my high school basketball team. He drove me off to my dorm for my freshman year of college. When I got married, he was my best man in my wedding. When my son was born, he was waiting Read More…

We Had Fireworks After All

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  We didn’t shoot off any fireworks on the Fourth of July. We didn’t even watch others shoot them off. Nor did we attend our city’s big fireworks show either. My special-need son is in bed by 8:30 at night and it’s barely dark. No time at the pool or lake. No backyard games and Read More…

From One Dad To Another

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  He is completely dependent on me for everything in his life. From the moment he wakes up until the moment he drifts off to sleep at night, I have to provide his every need. He is incapable of surviving in this world without me. He’s utterly helpless on his own. Without me in his Read More…

Green Jell-O and Gratitude

Jeff and Jon Alex- First night home from the hospital

  Green Jell-O. Who in the world would ever suspect me of being grateful for green Jell-O? What 48-year old man would get excited, downright giddy, over the appearance of green Jell-O on a hospital tray? And yet I would peel the plastic top off the container in suspense, and then eagerly and joyfully consume Read More…

The “Next” Greatest Generation

Photo Credit en.wikipedia.org  American flags decorate the headstones of service members that have passed away at the Quantico National Cemetery in Triangle, Va., on VeteranÕs Day. Opened in 1983, over 16,000 service members and dependants are buried at the cemetery. U.S. Navy photo by PhotographerÕs Mate 2nd Daniel J. McLain (RELEASED)

  I am a patriot. Unashamed, unabashed, and proud. I think there were two defining moments in my life that played a huge role in my sense of patriotism. When I was 13, my parents took me to Washington D.C. for our country’s bicentennial. I was transfixed and transformed that week  by the changing of Read More…

Seven Minutes

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      Seven minutes. Seven minutes of chest compressions as they struggled to restart my heart. Seven minutes between life and death. I was receiving a dialysis treatment when I realized I was rapidly getting short of breath and struggling to breathe. In a matter of minutes I went into respiratory arrest. Becky had Read More…

Not Forgotten

Not Forgotten

He was the last thought I had before I left. All the preparation, all the plans, and all the instructions- everything had been leading to this moment. I kept thinking of all the “what-ifs’” and running them through my mind over and over. Above all else, while getting ready to leave on my extended trip, Read More…

I’ve Been Robbed…So Thanks

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    Dear Autism and Cerebral Palsy I’ve been meaning to write to you for quite some time but thanks to you two, I’ve been pretty busy as you can imagine. Over the years I have cursed at you, yelled at you, cried at you, and tried my best to understand you. The more I Read More…