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The privilege of being his father

When our son was diagnosed with a degenerative disease, we never imagined that he would be the source of our greatest strength and hope for the future

One of the most beautiful things in life is becoming a parent. We pray and hope that all that life has brought us up until this point has educated us for this new journey we are about to embark on. We dreamed, we imagined, we hoped. This gift, this bundle of joy changed our life.

The day we received his diagnosis changed our life. Life stopped short. We could not imagine what life would be like. What would happen to those dreams and aspirations? Then came the frenzy of visits. We were thrown into a new foreign world medical jargon and doctor’s visits.

With iron determination we forge/d forward to treat life as we always do. We pour our hearts and emotions into ensuring that as much as possible, nothing is missing from our wonderful child’s life. To make life seem normal.

The most surprising thing was where this strength to go on would come from. We were, thank G-d, surrounded by amazing family and friends. Some of these fountains of support such as family and communal organizations like Chai Lifeline have come to be expected. The most unexpected source of unimaginable courage was from our son, Menachem himself. He would treat every challenge with a smile. He would face it head on. During times when it seemed difficult, he would respond simply with “it’s OK.” He would smile through the tears when he had pain.

Veterans of war will share a bond with their comrades deeper than with anyone else. As someone who accompanied Menachem through many of his ordeals, I feel a deep bond with him that cannot be explained. I have seen someone go through some of the most difficult of times as a true champion.

He has taught us to continue with our original train of thoughts. We dreamed, we imagined, we hoped. This gift, this bundle of joy changed our life. It has become we can still dream. We can still imagine; we can still hope. This bundle CONTINUES to bring us JOY, every moment of every day.

He has taught me to be a better father and parent to my other children and to live with an attitude of gratitude and not to take any moment for granted or waste it in vain. On this Father’s Day reflecting upon the past 12 and change years, I am privileged to be Menachem’s father.

About the Author
Moshe Falik is a Nurse working at Integrity Care Services, a Mental Health Outpatient Clinic. He is a husband and proud father of 3 living in Marine Park, Brooklyn. He enjoys music, biking and traveling with his family.
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