Daddy Hands:

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Posted by Terry S. ( on June 16, 2000 at 08:53:54:

Daddy Hands

I awoke in the night to find my husband, Marty, gently rocking
our baby son, Noah. I stood for a moment in the doorway, watching
this amazing man with whom I was so blessed to share my life,
lovingly stroke Noah's fat pink cheeks in an effort to comfort him.
I felt in my heart that something was seriously wrong with Noah.
This was one of several nights Noah had been up, burning with
a high fever.

Tears filled my eyes as I watched my beautiful husband move
Noah's little cheek up against his own chest, so that Noah could
feel the vibrations of his voice. Noah is deaf. Learning to comfort
him has brought on a whole new way of thinking for us. We relied
on our voices, a soothing lullaby, audio toys, and music to comfort
our other children. But with Noah, we need to use touch, his soft
blankie, sight, the feel of our voices, and most importantly, the
use of sign language to communicate emotions and a sense of
comfort to him.

My husband made the sign for "I love you" with his hand and I
saw a tear roll down his cheek as he placed Noah's tiny, weak
hand on top of his.

We had taken Noah to the doctor more times than I can remember.
It had been a week and a half and Noah's fever remained very high
and very dangerous, despite everything the doctor or we had tried.
I knew in my soul the way only a mother can know, that Noah was
in trouble.

I gently touched my husband's shoulder and we looked into each
other's eyes with the same fear and knowledge that Noah's wasn't
getting any better. I offered to take over for him, but he shook his
head, and once again, I was amazed at this wonderful man who is
the father of my children. When many fathers would have gladly
handed over the parenting duties for some much needed sleep,
my husband stayed stubbornly and resolutely with our child.

When morning finally came, we called the doctor and were told
to bring him in again. We already knew that he would probably
put Noah in the hospital. So, we made arrangements for the other
children, packed bags for all three of us, and tearfully drove to the
doctor's office once again. Our hearts filled with dread, we waited
in a small room, different from the usual examining room we had
become used to. Our doctor finally came in, looked Noah over,
and told us the news we expected. Noah had to be admitted to the
hospital. Now.

The drive to the hospital in a neighboring town seemed surreal.
I couldn't focus on anything, couldn't think, couldn't stop crying.
My husband reassured me that he felt in his heart that Noah would
be okay. We admitted Noah and were taken to his room right away.
It was a tortuous night, filled with horrible tests that made my son's
tiny little voice echo though the halls as he screamed over and over.

I felt as if I were shattering from the inside out. My husband never
wavered in his faith. He comforted me and Noah, and everyone who
called to check on Noah. He was a rock.

When the first batch of tests were done, the nurse informed us that a
spinal tap would be performed soon. Meningitis was suspected. Marty
and I had prayer together with Noah. Our hands intertwined, we held
our son and the love of my life lifted his voice to the Lord, telling him
how grateful we were for this awesome little spirit with whom he had
entrusted us. With tears streaming down his face, he humbly asked
the Lord to heal our son. My heart filled with comfort and gratitude.

A short time later, the resident doctor came in. He told us that Noah's
first results were back, and that he had Influenza A. No spinal tap
was needed! Noah would recover and soon be back to his zesty,
tornado little self. And Noah was already standing up in the hospital
crib, bouncing like he was on a trampoline. My husband's talk with
the Lord was already being answered.

Marty and I grinned at each other through our tears, and waited for
Noah to be released from the hospital. Finally, in the middle of the
night, our own doctor came in and told us that it was fine to take
Noah home. We couldn't pack fast enough!

A few days later, I was cooking dinner. Noah was healing, slowly but
surely. I felt at peace and knew my husband was the greatest father
I could ever want for my children. I peeked around the corner into the
living room, and chuckled at the picture I saw. There was my husband,
sitting in his "daddy chair", Noah in his lap. They were reading a book,
dad taking Noah's teeny hands to help him form the signs for the words
in the book. They both looked up and caught me watching them, and
my husband and I simultaneously signed "I love you" to each other,
then to Noah. And then Noah put his little arm up, trying to shape his
chubby hand in his own effort to sign "I love you" to his daddy. I watched
with tears as my husband carefully helped him form his tiny fingers
into the sign with his own gentle hands.

Daddy hands.

~~Susan Fahncke~~

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