BY: CHELSEY TAYLOR, Raider Wife, Business Owner, Mom of Three
Sitting on plane headed back from girls trip in Colorado, watching Daddy’s Home 2; got me thinking... What is a dad? Well, I have three wonderful men in my life that have shown me what it means to be a dad.
First, is my daddy. The one who raised me, who taught me to fish and change a tire. The one who was there when I got my Ford Expedition stuck in Lake Hattie after trying to go "off-roading" with friends. He was there to protect me and no matter how much I made him mad, he always loved me. Unconditionally.
Then, there is my "other" dad. Brandan’s dad, which most people would introduce as their father-in-law. Nope, not me, to me, he is my dad too . He has always been there for support and comfort when Brandan was deployed. He took me in just like one of his own.
Roy has always treated me like a daughter, since the day I showed up at their front door by myself and said “Hi, I’m Chelsey, Brandan’s wife. "Yes, that's right, we had never met in person until then. These two men have shown me all the love and support a father could give. But, today, the story I want to share is not about my dads, but the dad to MY kids.
Brandan became a dad on August 28, 2009 at 7:06 am. I had an emergency Cesarean because our sons heart rate went down drastically during labor. I remember looking over at him and he was so scared. It was happening so fast we didn’t even have time to think. But the moment we became parents I knew he was going to be the best dad any kid could ask for.
Years have passed and so did the deployments, yet Brandan made sure that our son knew how much he was loved. Fast forward 8 years and a set of twins later; now we are parents of three beautiful boys. Brandan retired from the Marine Corps in 2016 for medical reasons. Life was hard. But, he has shown me the true meaning of courage and strength. He now has dedicated his life to me and the kids. He literally told me “Chelsey, from now on I’m gonna make sure that you and the boys have the best life." I see this man who has back injuries, leg injuries, traumatic brain Injuries overcome obstacles that would make most people call it quits.
I feel that Brandan defines the word integrity. He has the heart of gold. My kids I think could really care less about mommy (just kidding) but they have this special bond with there dad that I’ve never seen before. They light up when he comes home from doctors appointments, the want to do everything he is doing even if they are just getting in the way, but Brandan makes it work. He says everything can be turned into a learning experience.
Brandan puts on a brave face everyday for these boys because he knows he has to. The hardest thing for him was to hear Dylan our 8 year old ask him if he was gonna die soon because he said he felt so old. And In Dylan’s eyes you die when your old . And since then Brandan has made it a point to fight through the pain physically and emotionally so the boys wouldn’t see it.
What is a dad? A Selfless, Loving Coach and Teacher. My husband. I just want Brandan to know that I love him very much and I see the Dad he is and it’s the greatest one there is.
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