Daddy’s Home comic strip – One big fish to another, “You know sometimes when father’s day rolls around I wish I hadn’t eaten my children.”
I was born during World War II, while may father was serving in the Navy in the South Pacific. We didn’t meet until I was two years old.
He worked seven days a week, to pay for my mother’s medical bills, never complained. I would stay with his family when my mother was in the hospital, about half her life.
I can’t share any fond memories with you about him, I can’t remember any. Not anyone’s fault, it was just the circumstances of our lives.
My father was a devoted Catholic. I hope he was right about Heaven, if anyone deserves to be there he does.
1) Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation has named Eric Lantz, 40, of Houston, it’s “Best Dad on Wheels” for 2011.
Eric Lantz with his daughter Alyssa
When I was growing up in 1950 America having your mobility limited to a wheel chair to a great extent limited your ability to fully take part in society. Eric Lantz proves how far we have come in 60 years.
From the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation site – http://tinyurl.com/65bjdpf
“Eric Lantz, 40, of Houston, Texas, is thrilled to be named the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation’s 2011 Best Dad on Wheels. At 18-years-old, Eric assumed he would ever have the opportunity to even be a father when he was involved in a car accident that changed his life.
“Dads in wheelchairs, in general, automatically have more appreciation for being in a dad,” says Eric, living with a T5 complete spinal cord injury. “We don’t take as many things for granted compared to people who haven’t been through this kind of experience.”
Having had such a life altering experience, Eric says, “I appreciate being a dad more because of my injury not necessarily in spite of it.”
“There are certain things that I have to be more creative about,” says Eric of the challenges of teaching his daughter, Alyssa, age four, how to play soccer and swim. “But that’s part of being an OT; breaking down and teaching her how to do things a different way. It’s kind of what I do every day at work, just break down activities, figuring out how to get the job done.”
Aside from being able to apply what he does at work at home, Eric is able to carry his experiences to his patients. “And being a dad too, that’s just a whole other thing I can share with my patients,” says Eric. “Figuring out in a wheelchair how to change a diaper, how to give a baby a bath, all that stuff.”
Eric’s wife, Brenda, and his coworkers nominated him for the Best Dad on Wheels Contest, but best of all was Alyssa’s ability to hide it from her dad.
Being a dad allows Eric to connect much more at his job, too. As an occupational therapist at TIRR Memorial Herman, Eric is able to both help his patients and learn from them.
“I learned my daughter is real good at keeping a secret,” jokes Eric. “She knew about this way before I did!” After discovering Eric was part of the top ten finalists, Alyssa told him: “Dad, we put you into vote for the best dad talent contest!”
So, what does Alyssa love most about her dad? “She says that she thinks it’s great that I’m in a wheelchair,” explains Eric, “because she always has a lap to sit on wherever we go.”
Most of all, our 2011 Best Dad on Wheels winner says, “I try not to let the wheelchair be a limiting factor on what she experiences in her life.”
2) I will guess there are many dads who would have a heart attack if there daughter started dating some guy in a rock band. At least before the record label gave him the big bucks.