29 Nov


Dad is often in my mind and this week has been no different.  He didn’t suffer fools easily, had few words, but gave far more of himself to his family, and community, than he ever received in return.  Now days, I think of him often when I read about the grief of infertility, and, how it is hard to go to baby showers and see others create families without any apparent struggle.

I think of the grace and strength that dad had every single day because you see, he was the man who delivered babies, many babies over many decades, some at home, some in hospital.  At his memorial service the number of grown men and women who attended to honor the man that had brought them into the world, and the parents of those babies was heartwarming, so many decades after he retired.  The funny stories they shared and how many had been his patients until he retired.  They all showed up for the man who had been present with them through some of life’s biggest and hardest moments.  It was inspiring to see.

There were many nights dad was out delivering a baby, coming home to grab a few hours sleep, and then off to another long day seeing patients.  Some days the waiting room would be filled to overflowing because dad was out delivering a baby, all waiting for his return to see them – before his day was done.

I got to see a glimpse of what he must have been like at a delivery and wrote this a while back: When I was a child our very small dog became friendly with the neighbors dog who was two or three times bigger and got pregnant.  Dad stayed close during the delivery and when the last pup had trouble, dad took over because it had been too long.  I will never forget dads face when he realized the puppy wasn’t breathing or the automatic reaction he had of giving mouth to mouth resuscitation to that tiny puppy.  It seemed like he worked on her for hours and mom kept telling him to let the pup go, but eventually dad’s determination paid off and then he gently laid her down with the other pups to be cleaned and then nursed by the mom.  I knew Dad delivered many babies during his years as a doctor so it was amazing to see this side of him, and witness his reverence for birth.

As a child I didn’t understand what mom and dad may have felt – they had us, and we were theirs.  A child’s mind that “we” solved the problem.  Now, I know that decades later mom still struggles, and I often wonder how dad felt.  Was he reminded each time he delivered a babe and had to deal with the grief, or, did the fact that he was part of bringing a child into the world make it easier?  A question that will never have an answer because dad is long gone.  I do know he never wavered on caring for expectant mothers, or delivering those precious babies.  I also know how reverently he held my son, his large capable hands cradling a tiny little one, and the deep pain he felt when my son passed away because he was his grandson, and, his daughter was hurting too.


Posted by on November 29, 2013 in Adoption, adoptive parents, biological child


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18 responses to “Dad…

  1. Don't We Look Alike?

    November 29, 2013 at 5:54 pm

    Oh man, this made me cry. What a beautiful post . . . . So much beauty and so much suffering.


    • TAO

      November 29, 2013 at 5:55 pm

      Awe Luanne – it wasn’t supposed to make you cry…hugs now I have tears…just meant to honor and have hesitated publishing it for days.


      • Don't We Look Alike?

        November 29, 2013 at 5:57 pm

        It’s phenomenal. I’m so sorry for your loss and so (sounds weird I know) proud of your dad for his commitment.


        • TAO

          November 29, 2013 at 5:58 pm

          He was a great man and have never met anyone who topped him.


      • cb

        November 29, 2013 at 8:19 pm

        I couldn’t help but shed a tear either.

        The depth of the love you have for your dad always shows in your posts about him.


        • TAO

          November 29, 2013 at 10:38 pm

          Awe thanks CB…chores are done and now it’s time to rush off to do grocery shopping…sigh


  2. christycanuck

    November 29, 2013 at 6:44 pm

    Crying too. He sounds very, very special.


    • TAO

      November 29, 2013 at 6:46 pm

      He was Christy… he was…


  3. Marijane Nguyen, MT-BC

    November 29, 2013 at 7:27 pm

    What a touching story. Your dad sounds like he was a very compassionate man and understood deeply the value of life. I loved the story of how he resuscitated the puppy. Thank you sharing this story.


    • TAO

      November 29, 2013 at 7:29 pm

      Thanks Marijane…one of those childhood moments that is etched in the brain.


  4. shadowtheadoptee

    November 29, 2013 at 8:59 pm

    Beautiful. I wish I could have met him. Hugs.

    You know? It never really dawned on me just how much infertility affected my APs until after reuniting with D. Our APs love us, but there’s always that thing…that loss..we couldn’t fill for them. It’s never talked about, and our APs never speak of that loss, but it was there. I heard it every time my mom “thanked” one of my BPs. Stopping now before this turns into another post…one I don’t think I want to write about today, much less go down that, particular painful emotional road. Maybe later. Hugs. I know you really miss your dad.


    • TAO

      November 29, 2013 at 10:41 pm

      I never felt it as a child and never really thought much about it until after dad was gone and mom and I were talking about it one day. I think I talked about it briefly in a post but who knows…hope you enjoyed your Thanksgiving dinner…


  5. Valentine Logar

    November 30, 2013 at 5:46 am

    Thank you for this one, you father sounds like a special and loving man.


  6. Dannie

    November 30, 2013 at 5:11 pm

    Remembering my labor and delivery last Saturday, I can attest that a good doctor/midwife etc can make a BIG difference. I can only imagine your dad was a wonderful and calming presence for women giving birth. What a special tribute.


    • TAO

      November 30, 2013 at 10:06 pm

      Ah Dannie – your little one is adorable. For sure it is very calming to know someone who knows what they are doing is there…


    • cb

      November 30, 2013 at 11:07 pm

      Congratulations, Dannie!


  7. Greg

    December 3, 2013 at 10:08 pm


    I know you and I have had our differences but this piece was truly heartwarming. I have to admit it hit at home for me and made me tear up a bit. Your dad sounded like a truly amazing man. He is someone that all dads should look up to. Thank you for sharing.


    • TAO

      December 3, 2013 at 10:15 pm

      Thanks Greg – he was…



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