Tomorrow I will continue with the Tough Mudder story. But first, I want to tell you about Dan, or as I call him, Lieutenant Dan.
Now, this is a tricky topic for me to broach here on the blog, but I’m going to do it anyway because when did tricky topics ever stop me from opening my big mouth and splurging more than I probably should at all of you?
Dan is Noah’s stepdad.
And this is where it’s tricky because I can’t just say what I want to say which is, “hey! This is Dan, Noah’s stepdad!”
You see, you long-timers here remember Chappy, Noah’s last stepdad who both Noah and I were quite fond of. He was involved in a brain-injuring motorcycle accident some time back which left him in a coma for nearly two months. The Single Dad Laughing family all came together for Noah’s other family. Then life happened for them as it does for all of us. And…
Well… I can’t actually say anything aside from that because it’s not my place. It’s not my story to share. And the curiosity of thousands is simply not enough to justify giving more details where I shouldn’t. All I can tell you is that life indeed happened, and Noah’s mom is now married to this new amazing guy named Dan. Can we just leave it at that? I hope so. We’re all grown-ups and we all know that illness, and injury, and relationships, and life, and love, and humaning… those things are never uncomplicated, nor are they ever easy to navigate at all, let alone explain to the masses.
And frankly, how life happened doesn’t really matter anyway. Not to me.
The only things that really matter to me are… Does this new man in my son’s other home love my son? Is he kind? Is he a good man with a generous heart? Will he take care of my kiddo? Will he be there for him? Will he teach him good things and support him and provide for him? Will he be a good Dad? If the answer is yes, then shoot. Life is good.
SOOOoooooo… with that awkwardness out of the way, let me be a lot more fair to Lieutenant Dan and start over.
Hey, this is Dan, Noah’s stepdad!
And yes, that’s him, covered in mud, hugging me, while I’m covered in mud hugging him, while he hugs my son, while my son hugs him, while I look genuinely enamored at my son.
God, I love that picture.
It was taken at the end of the Tough Mudder that we just did. Yes, Dan was one of the members of our SDLHC team. Yes, he is my ex-wife’s husband. Yes, his name is also Dan. Yes, he is strapped into an off-road hand bike in this picture. Yes, he is paralyzed from the waist down and gets around in a wheelchair. Thus the reason I call him Lieutenant Dan, a name he laughs about, I assure you.
Long story really short, about a year and a half ago, Dan was in a construction accident involving a huge pile of trusses which started sliding off the roof where he was standing. His spine was more or less obliterated in that accident, and he was told he would never walk again.