As we approached to cross the street at the square in downtown Portsmouth, New Hampshire, I reached for my son’s hand. He took it, and we stepped down the curb. Halfway across, my son sighted one of his first grade friends on the opposite sidewalk and ripped his hand away. Big boys don’t hold hands. I knew I would never hold his hand again. I felt sad.
A few years later, we were on Rye Beach where we often ran. He passed me and beat me to the end of the beach. I knew I would never be able to run faster than my 13 year old son.
In the jungle in Thailand in 2005, we were walking along a steep incline. “You need any help, Dad?” I knew our relationship had changed. He was taking responsibility for me.
I had been in the hospital most of the year I was 67, and Sam was my primary caregiver. I went from a wheelchair to fitness in my 67th year with Sam at my side.
On my 70th birthday, I celebrated with a three mile walk with Sam.
As we approached a bridge, we broke into a run. “Can you make it to the other side, Dad?”
Sam stayed one step behind me, beside me, the whole way, as I struggled to cross in a run. We made it across, as we live this life…together.