Guest post: A Father’s Love

Today is my husband’s 35th birthday.

We celebrated this morning with balloons and streamers that decorated the house and blueberry muffins with a strong cup of coffee.

He kissed his best girl and best boy good morning.  Gave me a tight hug and said, “Thanks.  This is great.”

I married the most amazing man out there.  He’s kind.  He’s hard working.  He’s loyal friend to those few that have stood by him.  He loves God and leads our home.  He is the “everything, I never knew, I always wanted.”

Today, you’ll hear from my husband.  My best friend. 

Happy birthday, Craig.  Thank you for choosing me.



Well, fear’s sort of an odd thing. When I was in residency my first solo procedure was a spinal surgery on a sixteen year old kid, a girl. And at the end, after thirteen hours, I was closing her up and I, I accidentally ripped her dural sac, shredded the base of the spine where all the nerves come together, membrane as thin as tissue. And so it ripped open and the nerves just spilled out of her like angel hair pasta, spinal fluid flowing out of her and I… and the terror was just so crazy. So real. And I knew I had to deal with it. So I just made a choice. I’d let the fear in, let it take over, let it do its thing, but only for five seconds, that’s all I was going to give it. So I started to count: one, two, three, four, five. Then it was gone. I went back to work, sewed her up and she was fine.

—Jack (“Pilot, Part 1“)


While I’ve never done spinal surgery or found myself on an island where polar bears, smoke monsters and the “others” are part of my daily routine, something more sinister has been with me almost daily.. Fear has placed me and my family on an island of our own….

Denial; anger; bargaining; depression; and, acceptance.. these are just some of the phases of grief..It’s safe to say I have experience many of these feelings since we got the news about Evan but the feeling I have probably had the most during these last 17 or so months is fear.. Fear of everything.. fear of losing my son, fear of losing my sanity, fear of the life that Evan will have, fear for the opportunities he might not get because of his condition,  fear of my dreams of not being able to playing catch in the backyard with my boy,  the fear of handing my boy over again and again for life saving surgeries… You have to let the fear in but only for 5 seconds…While I have definitely felt fear for more than 5 seconds, more like 5 lifetimes it hasn’t gotten the best of me. My faith has been the key to seeing me thru all of the trials and tribulations. When it seemed like fear would get the best of me I  always came back to this in scripture


Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight


This has definitely been the most trying time of my life, so many different emotions and thought have been played out over and over but thru my faith helped me get thru the most difficult days I have experienced.. Little did I know at  the time our last plane ride, Czarina and I were not stranded on an island somewhere in the pacific, we did end up on our own version of a bizarre island just waiting and hoping for someone or something to rescue us..

June 2nd 2011

Our journey into the world of CHD began around the time Czarina and I were approaching our 7th anniversary. Our lives were a little hectic but otherwise our little family of 3 was doing wonderful. For our 7th anniversary we both wanted a vacation where we could sit around a beach with a cold drink and do nothing but relax! And if we came back from Mexico with a “new” member of the family from all of the “relaxing” then hey even better! Iz was about to turn 2 so we figured that would be a good time to think about trying for another kiddo…

The lord works in mysterious ways.. Instead of leaving Mexico with a new addition we arrived in Mexico unbeknownst to us at the time, our baby boy Evan already growing inside Czarina

Fast forward a few months later and we are at the doctor’s office waiting to find out the sex of the baby. I was convinced it would be another girl, and was totally fine with that.. When Dr M. announced “Dad your going to have a baseball watching buddy!” I was beyond ecstatic! I was going to have a little sports watching, rough housing, playing in the mud, rough and tough little dude! Visions of amazing athletic achievements danced thru my head like the clips above of  course my son was going to excel at all sports.. football in the fall and baseball in the spring.. and soccer too of course..  he was going to make plays like these clips:


Most of my memories as a kid revolve around sports… so when we got the news of Evan’s condition it was like I was being robbed of experiences that I haven’t even had yet… I was certain to have with my son, showing him how to shoot a lay up, throw a curve,  a perfect spiral and all the other things fathers and sons do on the court, field or diamond..
Little did i know then that my boy Evan would turn into the toughest little guy I could imagine…

I wont go into all the details of this time, lets face it if you have read this blog Czarina has detailed our journey that i would not be able to give it the proper description it deserves.. We all face our problems differently. Some people turn to their spirituality and some let the demons take over..Some feel like talking to others or seeking out people who can relate to whatever it is they might be going thru.. I am not one of those people….With all of the trials and tribulations we were going thru with our family and especially the gamut of emotions were were going thru when we found out about Evan’s diagnosis  I just felt well you know like the southwest airline commercials.. wanna get away?


Thru all of this I have tried to keep a level head, stay calm, be the voice of reason but it’s not always easy.. To see your family struggle thru weeks at the hospital is trying to say the least…And to keep a semblance of composure thru every appointment, procedure, medication given, machine turned on, at times were unbearable.. But thru it all I would always come back to this verse in scripture

Psalm 27:1

-The LORD is my light and my salvation– whom should I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life– of whom should I be afraid?


While Evan’s journey has only just really begun, simple words cannot express how blessed and lucky I am to have such a precious little boy.. While I know the fear will always be there, I know that by letting in that God will help lead us out..



My boys


  1. Another wonderful blog. And Happy Birthday, Craig!

  2. Happy Birthday, Craig! Beautiful tribute to your journey – had me all weepy. Love both of you — You are such a shining example of God’s glory even in the hard times!

  3. You’re both terrific writers and awesome examples of being steadfast with your faith in God. I am truly blessed to know you! And happy birthday to you, Craig!

  4. You guys rock! I am always so amazed by you two!! Thanks for sharing and Happy Birthday!

  5. Pete Ceraul says:

    Happy Belated Birthday!!!
    We don’t talk often and we don’t always say a lot, but I do want you to know that you are an inspiration to me as a Brother in Christ, a Father and a Friend. Thank you for being an example and showing emotion.
    I am also blessed to know you both, THANK YOU!!