A Fatherhood of Joy & Grief: My First Podcast

Parenting-ReimaginedA few weeks ago, I agreed to do my very first interview for Sherry Muterspaugh Walling and her Parenting Reimagined podcast. I’ve often turned down requests for podcast interviews because I don’t think on my feet as well as sitting down to write a blog post.

However, I did want to share Micah, Judah and Caleb’s story with Sherry and her audience, so I agreed to do a podcast about my experiences of being a father.

I really appreciated how Sherry structured the podcast interview, and we had a good conversation. I talked about the joy of fatherhood and shared some stories about life with Caleb, and I shared some of our story about journeying through grief and loss.

Sherry and I also talked about how I am a bit of a social media buff, how having kids has changed me and I share some about my Little Bunny Foo Foo dance. If  you want to listen to the podcast, check out the Parenting Remagined podcast here or you can like them on Facebook here.

Update: I did NOT watch the YouTube video I linked to above for the “Little Bunny Foo Foo” song. Oops. I’ll leave the link there, because…well, you’ll have to see it for yourself. And to be honest, there really aren’t that many good animated portrayals of that song…it’s a little bit of a demented song, huh?

Where is God in the Midst of Grief, Loss and Illness?

This is cross-posted from a post I wrote for Jake Bouma’s Cancer & Theology series. You can see the original version here. We were asked to reflect on the issue of cancer & theology. There is some profanity below, which I thought about taking out, but feel like it’s appropriate for the subject matter.

Jake asked me to blog about cancer and theology. At first, I wasn’t sure I’d have much to say. I mean, I don’t have cancer. But then, I got thinking and realized that my grandmommy died of cancer and my granddaddy died of cancer and my uncle died of cancer and my father had a run in with skin cancer. I also served as a chaplain for a summer in a hospital and met many people suffering from cancer.

Now, I don’t know if all that necessarily qualifies me for having anything of worth to say about cancer. But. On October 25, 2010, my wife and I lost our two twin baby boys, Micah and Judah, just shy of 20 weeks into our pregnancy.

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Micah, Judah & Caleb: Living with Joy & Grief

I don’t do this often, but this is cross-posted from my parenting blog, DazedDad.com.

A few days ago, Caleb and I were having one of our moments. We were hanging out on the changing table (something that he really enjoys to do). He was staring out the window. I was gazing at him. And I probably even kissed him a few times.

I kept looking at him. Eventually his gaze caught mine, and we were looking at each other. He was making some of the insanely cute cooing sounds he’s recently been fond of doing…and the thought crossed my mind: “How in the world did we get so lucky? How in the world were we blessed with such a beautiful and amazing little baby boy…? What did we do to ever deserve this precious baby?”

And that’s when it hit me. The only reason Caleb is with us right now, the only reason we get to call this beautiful and amazing little baby our son…is because Micah and Judah died.

Had we been spared the agony and anguish of having two sons die just shy of 20 weeks…had we not had to go through losing our twin boys…we’d have two beautiful baby boys, but we never would have been able to meet Caleb. We would never know this amazing son of ours, this son whom we would give anything for now…

It can get you pretty messed up when you start thinking about it like that. Totally messes with your mind.

Falling in love with Caleb doesn’t mean that I love Micah and Judah any less…they will always be my first boys, my twin boys. But falling in love with Caleb means that I realize that he is only here because of the death of his brothers…

And I don’t even want to get into the theology of that…did God cause Micah and Judah to die, so that we could experience the love and beauty of Caleb? Was God just oblivious to our plight? Was God helpless and not able to “step in” and save Micah and Judah? I’m just not going there..that could just mess with my head pretty bad.

And so…there it is. We sit with that reality. The reality of the loss of Micah & Judah. The reality of the amazing gift of Caleb. The paradox of loss and love. Of grief making room for joy; both forever with us.