For most of us, Cancer is a culprit that takes away those people from our lives who are most important to us and we can’t imagine living our lives without them. But we have to and we must. The experience brings us closer to our loved ones and make us cherish the best of the time we have left with them. It also teaches us to be strong and supportive.
It’s amazing to think how something so dreadful as a disease and a fatal one at that, can do some good too! This is what it did for Dax Shepherd.
Shepherd, who is an actor and director by profession and Kristen bell’s husband, details the story of his relationship with his cancer-stricken father, Dave Robert Shepard Sr and how the two bonded in the last four months of his life.
Shepherd explains the complexity of their relationship in his blog; where he tells that his father was a flirt and selfish person who was a complete foodie, “I had always imagined he would be chewing WHILE he died,’ he quotes in his blog.
As a kid and a teenager, he and his brother were always embarrassed by his father’s acts; the way he used to flirt with the waitresses in restaurants and how he generally went about life. But his perspective of looking at things changed when he saw Dave flirting with the nurse during his last days... when he was unable to sit, speak and even talk on his own. Shepherd explains this by saying, “Witnessing the sheer power of that drive was eye opening. It put a few historical things into perspective for me. If this force was stronger than my Dad’s will to walk, talk, use a toilet or EAT, surely it was strong enough to lead Kennedy, King, Haggard and Clinton into the weeds. This was some powerful shit we were dealing with here. Putting the moral implications to the side, the strength in and of itself was astonishing. It almost deserved a round of applause.”
All those long drives, dinners and movie stops during visits to hospital for Dave’s chemo sessions removed all the dirt and grudge of their past. All of it was just froth that was hiding their compassion for each other and his father’s illness cleared the picture for them completely.
Shepherd’s blog makes one realize how caner helped him bond with his father and how it made him spend time with his father in his last days. This dreadful disease probably happened for a reason; a reason to teach love, get in touch with their inner most feelings and bringing the understanding that the things that embarrass you about your loved ones are not as important as their happiness is to you.
Good for Shepherd that he has been blessed by a loving wife, who gave him a moment that he can cherish for a life time. Though Kristen wanted the father and son to have undisturbed time with each other, she just couldn’t resist once and showed up in the hospital while shepherd was visiting his dad in Detroit. And while she was there she introduced him to the soon-to-be member of the family.
“She lifted her shirt up and he put his hand on her swollen stomach. He left it there for the better part of an hour. He was smiling from ear to ear, sitting contently, unable to put together a sentence, but still capable of connecting to the new family member we were creating. He wasn’t going to make it to the birth, but that didn’t get in the way of him meeting the new baby. It was an emotional and triumphant moment. One I will never forget. If I live to be a thousand, I will still be in debt to my wife for giving him that one last thrill." writes Shepherd.
Shepherd’s words say it all, he couldn’t be more thankful to Kristen for what she did. His father isn’t there with him now but he is contended to have been with his dad in his last days in what he calls first and final project together.
‘Our first project together was a total success. My only regret is that we didn’t take on more together.’