We don’t often get authentic glimpses into the lives of the people we see on television and the big screen. Earlier this week, however, nerd king Wil Wheaton wrote a touching, heartfelt piece about an experience he had with a woman he met a nerd convention, and today, I ran across an equally touching blog post from Dax Shepard (“Parenthood”) about the death of his father.
Shepard is a guy who most of us have done a 180 on over the last few years. He’s no longer the obnoxious guy we associate with “Punk’d” and a series of bad movies like Without a Paddle and Employee of the Month. He’s the good but sometimes misguided man from “Parenthood,” and the loving partner of Kristen Bell, the man who got his girlfriend a sloth and briefly transformed her into an adorable nutcase.
But in speaking about his father’s death on his blog, we learned a lot more about Shepard, a man who clearly didn’t have an ideal childhood growing up in Detroit. He was not close to his father, who abandoned him from the ages of 3 to 15. Late in his father’s life, however, Shepard seems to have made amends with his Dad, a lifelong alcoholic, food, and sex addict.
I encourage you to read the entire post if only for the insight, humor, and pathos he brings to discussing his father’s death, which only validates our impressions that he really is more like his “Parenthood” character, Crosby, than he was the doofus on “Punk’d.”
Here’s a taste, a touching moment his Dad had with his unborn child the week before he passed.
The next day I showed up to the hospital to find that he had taken a very sharp turn for the worse. It was not what I was expecting. I had let myself believe that the fun we had the day before was some kind of magic antidote. I half expected to see him eating a full breakfast when I walked in, but instead he was dazed and motionless. He could no longer sit up on his own, and talking was proving to be too much for him. So we sat quietly. I climbed in the bed with him and rubbed the little hairs on the back of his neck. I squeezed him. I’d never seen him so cute and little. He was a 250 pound baby. We spent most of the day that way.
At one point, and unbeknownst to both of us, my wife walked into the room. She had flown in from LA without any warning. It was a surprise. It was an amazing, incredible, perfectly timed surprise. She lifted her shirt up and he put his hand on her swollen stomach. He left it there for the better part of an hour. He was smiling from ear to ear, sitting contently, unable to put together a sentence, but still capable of connecting to the new family member we were creating. He wasn’t going to make it to the birth, but that didn’t get in the way of him meeting the new baby. It was an emotional and triumphant moment. One I will never forget. If I live to be a thousand, I will still be in debt to my wife for giving him that one last thrill.
(Source: Dax Shepard’s Blog)