I got a forwarded email from a my best friend’s wife yesterday.  I usually don’t check out forwards, but I wanted to see what this one was about.  The text of it was:

A son asked his father, ‘Dad, will you take part in a marathon with me?’.
The father who, despite having a heart condition, says ‘Yes’.

They went on to complete the marathon together.  Father and son went on to
join other marathons, the father always saying ‘Yes’ to his son’s request of
going through the race together.  One day, the son asked his father, ‘Dad,
let’s join the Ironman together.’  To which, his father said ‘Yes’ too.

For those who don’t know, Ironman is the toughest triathlon ever.

The race encompasses three endurance events of a 2.4 mile (3.86kilometer)
ocean swim, followed by a 112 mile (180.2 kilometer) bike ride, and ending
with a 26.2 mile (42.195 kilometer) marathon along the coast of the Big
Island.  Father and son went on to complete the race together. View this
race at…..

I just so happened to have Corban sitting in my lap while I was checking my email.  I clicked on the link and started watching probably what was one of the most inspirational things I’ve ever seen.  I stopped it right after starting it and called Lori into the office to watch the video with me.  She had already heard of the story and seen pictures, but had never watched any kind of video of it.  Together, we watched the video, and Corban was surprisingly still throughout the whole thing.  As the music played on and the unbelievably inspriring video played out before us, tears started to well up in my eyes.  I could tell that it was happening to Lori as well.  As more of it went on, I began to get very choked up.  I felt a huge lump in my throat.  “Wow, that’s awesome!” I kept saying as we watched this father fight through a grueling triathalon with his handicapped son in tow.  “Wow” was pretty much all I could muster.  By the end of it, Corbans little shoulder had tears of mine that had fallen on him. 

It was very apparent that this father would do anything for his son.  Anything!  That’s what I want to do for my son.  Anything!  If it means that I have to train for a triathalon to make any of Corban’s wishes come true, then by God, I’ll do it.  No questions asked.

So this got me to thinking about putting something in writing for my son.  My son, that is fortunate enough to be a strong healthy baby.  I held Corban tightly in my arms and thought about what kind of father I wanted to be to him.  I want to make a promise to him to stand by his side no matter what.  This next part is for Corban.

Corban,

I promise to always be there for you.  For any goal, no matter how big or small, that you want to accomplish, I promise to do anything in my power to help you accomplish it.  I will always make time for you.  I will not let any of my stresses, work or otherwise, come in between the relationship that you and I will have.  You are truly a blessing to this family and I can’t imagine what our lives would be like without you.  After watching this video of this father finishing a triathalon with his handicapped son, I know that anything is possible.  I witnessed yesterday what it means to be father and son.  I only pray that we will have that kind of incredible bond, a bond like no other, that will see us through anything that life may bring.  I was not fortunate enough to have that with my father, which makes this promise to you even more important.  I love you with all my heart Corban.  Each day, I look forward to waking up, walking into your room and seeing your beaming smile light up the room to start my day.  Your smile has ignited something in me that is almost impossible to put words to.  Who knew that it was possible to love any other human being as much as I love you.  I am already so proud of you, even though our time together has just spanned 4 months.  If 4 months with you has made me love you as much as I do, I can’t wait to see what the future holds in store for us!

I hope that you will never have any doubts as to how much I love you.  I also hope that you will never be afraid to ask me to do anything with you or for you.  I know that you will have a tremendous future.  I will make sure that you know that you will be able to accomplish anything you set your mind to.  And when each of those accomplishments happens, I promise to always be there, the proudest dad in the world, saying “That’s my son!” 

Corban, thank you so much for touching my heart like I never imagined was possible.  Sometimes, when I’m holding you, the love that I have for you is so strong that I have to consciously remind myself not to squeeze you so hard that your head will pop off.  It’s impossible for me right now to let you know exactly how much I really do love you.  But, I’ll admit, during the first month or so, this kind of love was something that I didn’t know could be felt.  I had a hard time developing a bond with you at first.  However, now that has completely changed.  Now, the bond that I have with you is undeniable. 

So remember these promises that I make to you son.  I will always remember this video and will use it as my inspiration and reminder that not only can I be an inspriation to you, but you will always be an inspriation to me.  For the joy that you have already brought to my life and will continue to bring to my life, I promise you a commitment that will last a lifetime.

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