Audrey Rae, Braxton, and #3-
Nothing serious, just a cold, but this simple cold is hitting me pretty hard. In particular, it’s wreaking havoc on my asthma (Cue the jokes about the nerd of the Dad Letters having asthma).
I’m seriously so sorry if you guys get asthma because of me. I was able to have a normal sports playing, running around type of childhood, but much of that is peppered with memories of stopping to take my inhaler or late nights trying to sleep sitting up because I couldn’t breathe lying down.
Now that I’m an adult, it remains pretty latent for the majority of time. I have an “as needed” Albuterol inhaler that I take before I work out in any way, and that’s about the extent of when I use it.
Unless I’m sick.
When I’m sick, the asthma comes out like in my childhood days, particularly this current time. Breathing is a trial, sleeping is a challenge, every inhalation is a labor undertaken. Imagine a typical empty 12 oz bottle of soda. Put it to your lips and try and take a full, deep breath. There will be a point where you just can’t inhale any more. The capacity has been met and it is not enough. No matter how hard you strain, no matter how deeply you breathe, you are just barely, just barely getting enough air to live your normal life
This is what I felt like for the past three days. I had let my inhaler prescription run out and forgot to refill it. I had to wait a long, grueling weekend for my doctor to approve another refill. Finally, yesterday, your mom came bearing the most precious of gifts: Dayquil, Nyquil, and my inhaler.
This next moment is why I’m writing you, so pay attention.
I took both doses of my inhaler and began to cough like my lungs wanted to leave my body.
Air filled my lungs to their full capacity for the first time in an eternity of three days. Each sweet breath I took was a gift from our Savior Himself. I literally just sat for about five minutes and appreciated each breath I took.
I want you three to do something for me right now: breathe in a full, deep breath. Now, exhale and feel your body relax. Repeat this process: breathe in, breathe out.
Kids, never take anything for granted.
Everything we have, even our breath, can be taken from us at any moment. The house we live in, the food we eat, even the school you likely abhor can disappear at any moment and leave us with nothing but a memory and the wish that we had appreciated it more while it was here. You’d find that you missed the lessons and friends at school, the deliciousness of family meals, and even the view from our humble house.
Every joy and every pain; every stress and every relaxation; even the mundane, nothing moments of your life are precious.
Breathe in, breathe out.
I don’t know what’s happening as you read this letter, I don’t know the future. Maybe you’d rather be watching TV or talking to a friend. Maybe you’re mad at me or maybe I’m sitting next to you, holding you close. Maybe I’m there to discuss the letter with you afterward…but maybe I’m not. It may seem like just a letter, but we are sharing something right now that transcends words or sentences, it transcends even time. Even this simple letter is something beautiful that we can share.
Breathe in, breathe out.
Do me a favor, actually, do yourselves a favor. When you finish this letter, go find your mom and give her a hug. Tell her you love her and appreciate all that she does for you and our family. Text/call/message your best friend and let them know you’re thankful for them, tell them that you’re happy that they’re in your life. Find your favorite thing, an old toy or an electronic, a picture or whatever else, hold it and thank God that you have it. Walk around our house and appreciate each room, each moment you’ve spent in each room. Find me, give me a bear hug, and say that you love me. Just take a moment to appreciate everything around you.
Then breathe in, and breathe out.
I love you kids, and appreciate each of you so much.
1 Corinthians 1:4
Christian, husband, father, and pastor. Also a proud and dedicated nerd. One of the dads at TheDadLetters.com and author of TheLivesIHaveLived.wordpress.com.