Tom came into my life when I was about 4 years old. I tested him and fought him being a part of our lives as any headstrong 4 year old would with a new man in her mom's life. He has since proved himself to be such a strong father figure and friend in my life time and time again, and this recent experience has been the most meaningful.
The afternoon of the accident, standing in the ER, figuring out going to Denver with Fred and my mom taking Kalyn was decided fairly quickly, and Tom immediately offered to get on the last commercial flight out since there was no room on the medical flight. We have had so much support from so many family and friends since the accident, but the way Tom has put his regular life aside to be there for myself and Fred has been extrodinary.
The first week, and even now, I was in such a whirlwind of emotions and lack of sleep. Not only did I have someone there to drive me around, keep me fed and cry with, but Tom was always there to ask the important questions to the doctors and be Fred's advocate and encourage me to get away.
These past few days being home has been very restful and therapuetic for both myself and Kalyn. I was given some very good advice this week to not listen to my mind when it is freaking out and can't handle the situation, to find space within myself and lead with my heart. My mind is what wants to plan and figure things out, but my heart will always know what to do and go with grace. After I was told this, I realized how much Tom has been able to be there for Fred and myself with just his heart. The first week, we spent about 12 hours a day sitting at the hospital while nurses and doctors came and went and Fred mostly slept. If you had asked me a month ago if Tom could have sat in the hospital doing pretty close to nothing all day long, I would have told that would have driven him crazy. But this entire time he has been patient, loving and there to help myself and Fred in any way he can.
Having Tom be there and not leave me alone to deal with anything but also know when I needed space without me having to ask was an amazing gift. I have thought of Tom as a father to me for many years because he helped raise me and was there for me as a dad many times when my own dad was not. These past few weeks have made me realize how much your family is not just defined by who you are related to by blood, but the friends and community that step up and support you just like your family. I feel like our family has grown at an exponential rate in the last few weeks, and it makes me feel truly blessed.