Saturday, June 15, 2013

Who's Your Daddy

Brett and I met on September 16, 2001 - a mere five days after September 11th.  I had just moved into the city four days before September 11th, so it was a bit of a surreal week, to say the least.

At 22, almost-23, I may have been starting to look for a 'mate', but I was definitely not looking for a 'daddy' to my as yet unborn children.  Of more immediate concern was whether he wanted to live in the city or stay in Queens (city for me, Queens for him).  Was he more of an Upper or Lower East Side bar goer? (Upper for me, Lower for him) Did he root for the Jets or the Giants? (Jets for me, "I like both" - a ludicrous claim - for him)

All the discord aside, we did agree on the most important things - Mets or Yankees (Mets), best Taco Bell menu item (MexiMelt), best show to make you laugh so hard you cry (MXC - a ridiculous Japanese stunt game show dubbed into English).  So obviously these more important facets would lead me to (correctly) assume that this man was going to make a wonderful father.

our honeymoon - the oldest digital files I could locate
it was a great honeymoon :)

When we told our families and friends that I was pregnant with Colin, Brett played with the sonogram picture and inserted a teeny tiny picture of his own face so he could show it around and say "doesn't it look just like me!".

(He would come to find out that apparently it is very difficult to tell which end is UP on an 8-week sono, having placed the photo onto Colin's hiney).

with Colin, just a few days old, and our former dog Larry David
(great dad, terrible dog-name-picker)

When all hell broke loose about 3 weeks before Reid was born, he stepped up not just for me but all the members of his family who needed him so desperately at that moment.  And he was back in place in time to answer in the affirmative to my shout out, while watching The Bachelorette, of "Hey - like the name Reid?" a mere 2 weeks before he was born.

(Let's just get this out of the way.  I SWEAR I am not the television junkie I seem to be here.  I just get my inspiration from there, sometimes.  Like when it comes to the names of my kids.  

I will neither confirm, nor deny, whether the inspiration from Colin came from Mr. Darcy Colin Firth.)

Brett holding a 4-day-old Reid,
ready to leave the hospital
Father's Day 2010

Then all Hell actually enveloped us on August 16, 2012 - the day of Quinn's diagnosis.  The oft nonplussed Brett was sufficiently plussed.  Never had I doubted his love for her or the boys, but if ever I had from that day forward any bit of doubt would have been altogether erased.  His tenderness toward Quinn, his appreciation for the boys - it all grew tenfold.  He held out hope against hope, unwilling to completely shut the door until all of the information - every single last bit - was in front of us when we went to Duke.  He unabashedly loves Quinn, loves Reid, loves Colin for exactly who they are and not for who he thinks they should be.  Brett is the poster child for a father's unconditional love.

My absolute most favorite example of this is when we were sitting with the wonderful Pamela Bloom, our interfaith minister, discussing the Blessing ceremony we held for Quinn back in November.  Pamela was offering a suggestion of bringing Quinn or her photo to a gazer (a person who is said to offer hope and healing with his gaze).  Brett did not dwell on the difference in his personal opinion on such a matter.  Instead, he offered the most beautiful musing I have ever heard.

"I wouldn't even know what to ask for from him.  I wouldn't want to change anything about her - she's perfect.  And this is part of her, part of who she is."

Quinn was just three weeks old here <3
on their way to meet me at Duke,
stuck on the tarmac for 2.5 hours.  still smiling :)
photo credit: Nicole Renee Photography
photo credit: Lightful Photography
escorting Quinny on her first ride in Popsie Peter's convertible
photo credit: Angela Marshall Photography

See?  Unconditional Paternal Love.  It's incredible to watch and I can tell from my children's happiness that it is incredible to experience.

As I tucked Colin and Reid in tonight I reminded them that Father's Day is tomorrow.  Then I said "Is Daddy a good daddy, an ok daddy or the best daddy in the world?"

"The Best Daddy In The World."

Smart boys.

photo credit: Lightful Photography
Photo Credit: Lightful Photography
Father's Day 2011

Refereeing is part of the job description
Father's Day 2012


  1. Eileen, Never, ever in my lifetime have I met someone as articulate, loving, caring and giving as you. I have said it before and I will say it again, you are MY IDOL! "Linzer, Party of Five", is beyond blessed to have you! Happy Father's Day Brett.....hope to see you later.

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  3. You married a wonderful man. Happy Fathers Day. Xxoo

  4. Beautiful. Beautiful. Beautiful. What a love story. Happy Father's Day Brett. Xoxo

  5. great story..great kids..great mum and dad! you are so strong..i'll pray for Quinn..cheers from Turkey :)

  6. What a beautiful tribute to an awesome dad (and husband)! And didn't the boys give Brett the BEST Father's Day gift? A unanimous vote on Best Daddy in the World! xoxo

  7. oh my goodness. I don't think you needed any words for this post (even though your words were precious), just the photos! wow, what a story they tell. The one of Quinn and Brett on the tarmac look like twins separated by 20 years:) I love the love your family has and the strong man that keeps it all together, I am so happy you all have Brett. Happy father's day Brett! xoxo ,Chelsea

  8. Beautiful tribute. Amazing family. You are such an inspiration! As always, thanks for sharing.

  9. You have such a beautiful family. I have been blessed with 6 children and 20 grandchildren. I can't even imagine the strength it takes for you to live with the uncertainty of a sick child. Just know that my thoughts follow you each and every day. Believe that Quinn will never leave you. She has touched so many hearts that she will live forever in the spirit. Stay strong, Quinn is counting on you.