“A Father’s Day Thank You”

Hank and Marty-couch picture

I want to take this opportunity to say a special Father’s Day thank you to Hank’s Dad Marty, and to all Dad’s who love their kids and show it.

When Hank was born Marty and I found ourselves, not unlike most parents, in a brand new world that was exciting, bursting with love, and challenging beyond anything either one of us had ever experienced.  It didn’t take us long before we found ourselves calling our little family “Team Hank.”  

The first time we used the phrase we were in the hospital trying to get Hank to latch on for breast feeding.  Since Hank’s muscle tone was so low this was a monumental task.  We didn’t understand that at the time. We only knew that we would do anything to prevent the doctors from putting a feeding tube in our baby.  

We were told by one of the nurses that if Hank had his feet tickled while attempting to eat it might help.  So I held Hank in ‘nursing position,’ careful not to pull on the IV line that was attached to his tiny arm, and Marty tickled his little feet.   Suddenly we found ourselves chanting softly, “Go Hank go!  Go Hank go!”  All at once I could feel Hank eating.   We were so happy we could hardly contain ourselves, and the doctors and nurses were shocked.  We had begun to play ball and there was no turning back.

When Hank was three Marty and I decided to end our marriage.  We also decided never to quit the team.  We have both always said that we were meant to be together because Hank was meant to be born.  We have learned first hand that parents can be parents even when they don’t live in the same house.  And I have learned what a treasure I have in knowing how loved my son is by his father.

From the moment Marty first laid eyes on him he was as much a goner as I was with love for our gorgeous redhead.  And from countless hospital stays, to building electric cars and bed frames, to hundreds of trips to the zoo and a myriad of other loving actions in and around and between, Marty has always been there for his son.  

As teammates Marty and I have had to learn to listen to each other and to accept our differences.  What has given us the ability to rise above our personal challenges has always been that we love our boy.  Hank is the loving glue that sustains us, and no father could love his son more than Marty Klueber.

Thank you Marty for being Hank’s Dad.  Thank you for twenty-three years of a journey that has been incredibly enlightening.  Thank you for tickling Hank’s feet.  Thank you for playing the game.  

Happy Father’s Day.

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