16: Virginia
Rad Dad

Rad Dad

Dearest Stephane,

Here’s to YOU on Father’s Day.

Yes, you do countless craft projects with Hugo, teach him how to climb, bike and swim, and show him the difference between a Phillips and a flat head. You tell him No more often than Yes. You hold him to a higher standard and you always back me up.

These things alone make you a fabulous father.

But on this Father’s Day, I want to shine a light on some of the things that you do for our family that might not be direct lessons for Hugo, but lessons nonetheless. You teach by your actions and he is watching you every step of the way.

You are a role model in so many ways for Hugo. Your passion for the outdoors has instilled in Hugo a love for climbing, mountain biking, swimming, and all things outdoors.

Durango to Moab!
Scoping out the climb.
All laughs on the trail.

That time you backed the truck onto a field in the middle of urban Virginia so we could eat our subs on the tailgate and pretend we were out in the country. Because you knew I was missing that.

Subs on the tailgate!

Hugo’s sweet-naturedness with the animal world is directly related to you. He watches with those big, silent eyes as you gently scoop up the latest spider that has lost its way inside, and he follows you out the door and watches as you send daddy longlegs on his way.

How many frogs has he helped you save from a watery grave, excitedly netting them from the pool and freeing them in the grass after a thunderstorm?

Bug @ Love Gap crag.

Just last September, after my brother Dan’s diagnosis.

You said, “let’s go”.

And you left your job and you packed us up, all of our things (all of those stairs).

You put Hugo and I on a plane and you drove our lives across the country.

Because you knew I needed to be there.

Somewhere between New Mexico and Virginia

That time my “little” project turned into your enormous task and the most epic deck transformation of all time.

Plus the benches that open up so we could store pillows (because I asked).

All of those measurements.

All of those cuts.

All of the effort done UNDERNEATH that no one will see – all done right and beyond solid. Because you do it right. Always. Regardless if any is looking or not. It’s not for the praise. It’s for a job done to the best of your ability and done always with integrity.

Our rooftop deck in Los Alamos post transformation. Our oasis.

Note the l-shaped corner bench – the side pops open for storage.

Are these green-and-red squares burned into your eyes for the rest of time?

These Christmas-colored cubes represent to me all of your efforts to ensure the very best life for Hugo. They show your willingness to step out of your comfort zone, to sequester away for countless hours to study; to travel, to quarantine, to test; to do it all again and again.

And again.

And you did it all for what we thought was going to be the best life for Hugo. And when the world changed and we changed trajectory, you took it all in stride, in good grace, and in love. You are the strongest, most steadfast man I have ever known.

Train @ the zoo!!

You are an impeccable professional. Your work ethic, whether it be painting the backyard patio or stepping through your daily helicopter pre-flight, is unmatched.

You are Hugo’s shining light: showing him how to be a man, how to treat others and how to stand up for what is right. All you do, every day, he watches and soaks up like the little sponge that he is. I am so proud of the little boy that he is and excited to see the man he will become. You have made it all possible by just being you.

Happy Father’s Day to the raddest dad around.

We love you.


Happy Father’s Day!! We love you!

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