For many children, their first hero is their father. This was true for my husband Greg who shared a special connection with his Dad. I was also very lucky to have John as a father-in-law. He had a medical background and I called him whenever the Sugar Snaps spiked a fever or had other worrisome symptoms. He was calm and patient and always knew what to do. He saved a number of people in his life using CPR or the Heimlich Maneuver. He was the kind of person you would want to be there in an emergency. He was always ready to jump in and help anyone in need at a moment’s notice.
A few months before Father’s Day last year, Greg lost his hero. He was in seemingly perfect health and passed away from sudden cardiac failure due to overexertion. He was there one day and gone the next. John was an amazing Papa to the Sugar Snaps. I remember him tirelessly walking around with Ryder while he cried as a baby. Ryder, born our smallest, frequently cried as an infant due to an upset stomach. John was told that he also cried a lot as an infant for the same reason. Now, Ryder is our tallest which reminds me of John who stood six feet, three inches tall.
Greg and John shared a love of superheroes. Superman, Spider-man and Batman (among others) shared a special place in their hearts. It was fitting on Father’s Day last year, that Greg picked out Spider-man shirts for the boys to wear as we visited the cemetery. This year, he got them Superhero pajamas; Capri was Super Girl and the boys were Superman. We did not visit the cemetery on Father’s Day this year, but visited it in between Mother’s Day and Father’s Day as Greg lost both his parents within about a year.
We will makes sure to keep Daddy’s hero alive for the Sugar Snaps through stories and pictures and by sharing his interests with them. They will know he loved lizards, had a thirst for learning and a passion for travel. But, most of all, they will learn about how much he loved being their Papa.