You OK?

What I have gathered from my extensive research is that most mothers feel “THE BOND” the minute your baby moves. But me being the Dad, I didn’t get that connection right away. With both of my children it took some time to get THE BOND. With my daughter Blake, that bond happened after her first birthday. We would connect over music, over breakfasts, over story time when we would read classics like Go the F**k to Sleep, especially when her sense of humor started to shine. Just a subtle look from her and I knew she knew it was just us together forever in this father-daughter journey. She would grab my cheeks, stare right into my eyes and say, “you OK?”. 

I don’t understand how this little child was so wise and how she overwhelmed me with so many emotions that I couldn’t explain. I kept thinking to myself “this little bitch gets me.” I imagined all the firsts we would share together and just like that I was officially all in. In the summer of 2019, when we decided to take a week’s vacation to a beach-front cottage with a group of friends, we had a full week to immerse in family time and build on the newly established relationship. That week was fantastic, exactly what we needed… but it ended horribly.

Driving home, “In da Club” (radio edit) is playing on the stereo while Blake does her gangster head nod, singing in the backseat. Traffic slows down and comes to a stop. As I look in the rearview mirror, there isn’t enough time to react. BAM. We’ve been hit. My ears are ringing like a gunshot just went off beside my head. I can’t see anything – my glasses flew off my face. There’s blood coming from somewhere… is it leaking down my face? Everything is blurry. The sound begins to come back as the ringing fades and the reality starts to slowly set in. I get out of the car and somehow am able to open the smashed doors. Have Sebastian’s legs been cut off? No, he’s okay. Blake is not responsive. There is a huge concave dent on her innocent little forehead. Lindsay and I look at each other without saying a word but are thinking the same thing. Is she dead? Is she going to die? What do we do? We are her parents. We should have the answers but we have no idea what to do. Sebastian pushes the seat away from his legs and he is able to get out of the car. I turn to Blake. I pick her up and hold her to my chest. I think I feel her shallow breathing. Do I use my CPR training when she’s breathing?! Is she breathing? I hold her tighter to my chest to try and feel her heartbeat against mine hoping that she is just knocked out. Nothing. The young driver that hit us comes out saying, “don’t worry guys, I have insurance” like I care about that right now. All of a sudden, an off-duty correctional officer runs up to help from a vehicle behind. Then within seconds, from the other side of the highway, someone yells “I’m a doctor”.  Everything is happening so quickly. We lay Blake on the roadside and start to perform resuscitation compressions. She gasps a little breath. The doctor says to me very calmly, “Let her know you’re here daddy, maybe sing to her. What’s her favourite song?” “Blackbird” by the Beatles – got it! So I start singing the song – you must be kidding me, what are the f*@%ing words? 

As a parent, we sometimes make up these unrealistic scenarios of how we would react given certain life or death circumstances and how we would ride in on a white horse in shining armour. Do whatever it takes to protect our children, no matter the cost. In all these imaginary scenarios, we always win, we always protect them… well, this time, in the real world, I lost. So, no Blakey, I’m not OK.


Daniel Burdis is a father of two and husband of one, who always strives to put family first. He will share tales of adventures throughout his life, but his main goal is to be the relatable father who makes questionable decisions!


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