Saturday, February 24, 2007


Dear Vampboy-

About a week and a half before you were born, I was walking to a meeting when I fell on the ice and broke my pelvis. I remember sitting in the emergency room in stunned silence as the doctor told me -- while your mother, carrying you for the final lap, leaned back in the chair next to me. "How could this be?" I wondered. "First of all, I'm 34 and not 64 -- aren't I a little too young for my pelvis to break? Secondly, there's a baby on the way any moment. How am I supposed to be the dutiful husband on the big day when I can't even walk?"

Fortunately you waited until my healing had me only hobbling on one crutch, which allowed me to drive your mother to the hospital for the big event -- two years ago today. Your arrival was not an easy affair (what a surprise, I know) but I remember that through the difficulty of delivery, your heart beat never waivered. Through the heart monitor it sounded like a techno song, a "thumpa-thumpa" so powerful I can still hear it in my head to this day. It is the strength of that heart, I know now, that has brought you through to this moment. Turning two is a big affair for anyone, but in your case it is a quiet miracle that almost didn't happen. I have wandered through today with a mix of typical parental glee, great sadness for what you have endured, fear that this may be the last birthday, and yet joy at the opportunity to celebrate your big birthday at home with family and friends, rather than the hospital.

These days I find myself looking to you for strength. Here you are, after more than 6 months of hell -- needle sticks, blood transfusions, surgeries, drugs, radiation, tube feedings -- and you run about grinning ear to ear, wearing your birthday crown with the enthusiasm of any giddy toddler. Your youth gives you the ability to be present in any moment, allowing you to forget the sickness of yesterday and be present with the cake, strawberries, toys and family that is your today.

There is so much I have learned from you already. As I watch you run around with your new remote control car, laughing wildly as it spins on the ground, the only thing I can think is how desperately I want more birthdays with you, and how much more I'm sure you have to teach me. As you mark your transition from baby to toddler, I just want to throw out to the world how crazy I am about you. In spite of everything we've been through, I wouldn't trade your presence as my son for anything in the world. I'd gladly break my pelvis again, or bear any pain necessary, to see you laugh like I saw you laugh today.

Here's to many more laughs as father and son. I love you, kid. Happy birthday!



Papa Bradstein said...

Happy Birthday, Vampboy! May you have many happy returns of the day!

Steve said...

Two is a great age. They just get more fun!

Happy Birthday, big guy.

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful picture! That's one of my favorite smiles in the world. Happy Birthday Declan!

Jackie's Dad said...

Happy Birthday Declan!

Jackie's Mom
Jackie's Dad

Heather said...

Happy Birthday, Vampboy!


karen said...

Declan, wishing you the very happiest of birthdays. Hugs and kisses to the 3 of you. Love, Karen and Janet

Denver Dad said...

Happy belated birthday, Vampboy!

VampBrooklyn said...

Happy birthday!

Anonymous said...

That is the most adorable two year old I have ever seen!
Happy Birthday Vampbaby!

Anonymous said...

Hello Tym, Mel and Declan!

I don't know if you remember me, but I know you from way back in the TI days ... I read about your story in the Bedford Bulletin and I was so sorry to hear what you are going through. I managed to find this site and I look forward to reading more about your family and your brave fight. Please know that you are in my thoughts and prayers.

Kirsten (Chapman) Harrison

Anonymous said...

You are very thing a son could want from a Dad I hope you know that. I don't check in hear very much but when I do it make be so proud to call you my Brother. Have a great day and give my little man a hung from his crazy bearded uncle Brian

Much Respect B

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