Sunday, August 26, 2007

Patrick Henry Hughes and his selfless Dad- Inspiration for us all

In my humble opinion, one of the most admirable of personal attributes is selflessness, although not many people are endowed with that gift. We usually do things for others because we believe we will somehow gain something, be it material or emotional, from the act of giving, and as long as we don't have to make major sacrifices. Then there are those who give selflessly of themselves, without any expectations, because they simply feel compelled to serve another.

On Father's Day I wrote about Dick Hoyt (Team Hoyt), the selfless father who has been running marathons with his disabled son for years, and here's yet another amazing Dad who has totally devoted his life to helping his son, who was born without eyes and crippled at birth, to fulfill his dreams. Patrick Hughes, though born disabled, was gifted in other ways. He plays the piano beautifully, and the trumpet, and as a college student at the University of Louisville, was asked to join the marching band, wheelchair and all. So Dad works graveyard shift for UPS, so he can sit with his son during classes and band practice, and then wheel him around during the games. Basically Dad has no life, other than work and son, and yet he does it with love and joy.

The son, too, is an inspiration. He does not see himself as 'disabled' but with abilities, and indeed he does have many. I salute them both, and all those others who give of themselves without need for anything in return.

Get out the tissues.


5 comments:

Pat Jenkins said...

i know you are trying to show the fathers devotion, but he very much has a life. anytime you are doing what you love, devoting yourself to your child, their could be no BETTER life.

Pat Jenkins said...

another point, why can't we have more people with a sprit like patrick. by the way what a great name.

Incognito said...

Hey Pat, and yes a great name!

What I was trying to point out was that he doesn't have a life outside his work and his son. Most people would be too selfish to sacrifice that, even for a child. The man goes to work the graveyard shift, comes home sleeps a few hours and then gets up to spend the day with his kid until he has to work again. That is selflessness at it's utmost.
But I do understand your point, as well. :-)

Anonymous said...

I saw the Extreme Makeover show tonight where they made over Patrick Henry's home and University field for him. It looks to me like the father ENJOYS time with his sons, not just "toiling" for the one in the wheelchair, they all know music and enjoy sharing and playing with their dad, the mom and dad are close, still devoted to each other (I say that cause some arent-they get torn apart in similar circumstances), and what I especially noticed is that the other two younger sons, show absolutely NO Resentment toward Patrick or their dad cause of the time he must use up. What kind respectful talented kids!! That comes from Happy Devoted parents with no resentment in their hearts or self pity on any of their parts. Lucky parents, lucky kids-goes both ways.

Anonymous said...

Exactly what selflessness is. Enjoying what you are doing for others. There is a pay off for both. The pay off for his father, I'll bet, is knowing that his son doesn't wallow in self pity but has taken life by the horns and gone with the tremendous talents he has been given. Patrick (dad) is someone who has taken his role as a father not only seriously, but also to heart. Were his heart not in the right place, none of this would be happening for Patrick (son). How many situations like this could have worked out with the son being placed in a group home and the father out swinging a golf club, having a so-called life of his own. Patrick (dad) has a life of his own. We all have choices and the choices we make write the script of our lives. He is not only writing the script of his life, but giving Patrick (son) the ways and means to write a script of his own that is much more full than many "able bodied" people.