Certain events happen in life that will forever remain in our minds. I will never forget the day of June 23, 1996. At about 9:56 p.m., something happened that changed the trajectory of my life. My first son came into the world, crying at the top of his lungs. I remember the moment like it was yesterday. I remember thinking that this little creature that the medical staff placed in my arms would change me. Everything I did, from this moment forward, was for his welfare. My reason for living took an abrupt turn, as now someone else needed me for many reasons.
I could not believe that I inherited a name that sounds much better to my ears than the one I knew. My son (Doesn’t that sound great?) began calling me “Padre” early on and never stopped. The world seems brighter when I hear him call me the endearing name that is synonymous with joy. Let everyone else call me Joe, but there are only two people in the world who call me “Dad.”
Today marks the twenty-fourth year to the day that my first child made his presence known. Since that day in 1996, I never stopped giving thanks for him, my greatest gift. May he enjoy his special day as much as I do. I hope that he lives a life filled with passion and purpose. All of these things I hold up to God and say, “Thank you for the miracle of life, as found in my amazing son.”