Dad-life, Featured

One great day

February 17, 2016


I feel like I need to write the hardest, but easiest post first.

December 5th, 2015 will forever be known to me as a great day. It wasn’t just any great day, it was ONE great day in particular. My wife had been battling cancer for over two years now and her health was steadily declining to the point that she was having considerable pain every time she would walk.

For most of November, she would either work from bed or limit her walking to the office downstairs. It was at this point that I started to assume single-dad duties – waking the kids up, making breakfast, getting them off to school, picking them up from school, getting them to their activities, feeding them then getting them into bed. You get the picture.

Today will be a great day. If you choose to make it great.

However, on December 5th, things started out a little differently. I woke up around 6:30am to the sound of Laura getting out of bed, which at the time wasn’t a common occurrence. I assumed she was just getting up to go to the bathroom, so I closed my eyes and went back to sleep. Around 8am, I awoke to sounds and smells that haven’t permeated our walls for a while, a mother’s laughter and the smell of pancakes. I walked out to see Laura cooking breakfast and the first thing she told me was how great she felt. She had even started to pull out Christmas decorations from the basement. After a wonderful family breakfast we all proceeded to put up Christmas decorations and the kids helped her decorate the tree. It was shaping up to be a great day.

At one point during the day, I heard banging, giggling, squealing while I was downstairs getting additional decorations. My first reaction was to scream up there and tell everyone to keep it down, but then I remembered Laura was having a great day, a pain free day. I walked up the stairs and turned the corner into the kitchen. It’s a memory that I will cherish forever, Laura and the kids were dancing without a care in the world.

Dancing. It seems minor, but when you can barely walk and suddenly you’re dancing, it’s nothing short of a miracle.

I stood there and took it all in. For some reason, I knew I had to cherish that moment.

The rest of the day was a pretty “normal” day, we had lunch together, then we went out to dinner with some close friends to see Santa with the kids. We walked around and enjoyed everyone’s company.

Walking. Seems minor again, well, it wasn’t.

At one point I remember telling Laura to slow down, she just shrugged it off and told me she’d rest tomorrow. Afterwards, we headed to Tilles Park and rode the horse carriage looking at all of the Christmas lights. It was another memory that I will never forget.

December 5th, 2015 was a great day. We spent it as a family and enjoyed some memorable moments with close friends.

Laura spent the following day in bed and never had a great day like that again. I’ll spare you the difficult times in the coming weeks because this post isn’t about those times, it’s about that ONE great day we shared as a family where everything seemed normal again.

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  • Reply Karen Winkler February 23, 2016 at 5:11 pm

    I love this story and love you guys. Please continue to share them.

  • Reply Maddie M. Jeffrey February 23, 2016 at 6:14 pm

    This brought a smile to my face. What a lovely story. Looking forward to reading more.

  • Reply Lauri McClain February 23, 2016 at 8:00 pm

    Tom..keep writing. .keep Climbing. Keep dreaming. ♡

  • Reply James Harris February 23, 2016 at 8:59 pm

    Great read Tom!

  • Reply Kate February 23, 2016 at 10:02 pm

    Tom, thanks for sharing. She is still with us – and will never leave us. She is emblazed on our hearts. Please keep sharing your memories. They warm my heart. Tonight I will dance. ?

  • Reply Lisa Reinhardt Mills February 23, 2016 at 10:34 pm

    Thank you for sharing this treasured day with us, Tom. “Amazing” is the word I mostly associate with Laura. I could visualize everything you wrote and could hear her voice and laughter. You are a terrific writer and I look forward to reading more. Thanks for reminding us each day is a gift and we can make it great.

  • Reply New Beginnings - The December 5th Fund - Our New ExperienceOur New Experience July 15, 2016 at 1:44 pm

    […] a considerable amount of soul searching, I realized I wanted to share my One great day with others. Everyone should have at least one great day, a day to bond with their family and cast […]

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