In one of the sweetest celebrity stories I’ve heard in a long time, Huffington Post reported on how actress Kristen Bell surprised her husband, actor Dax Shepard, at his father’s hospital bedside a few days before he died from cancer.
Bell, who is pregnant with the couple’s first child, was working in Los Angeles but flew to Detroit to see her husband and his dying father. When I first saw this photo on Huffington Post of Bell resting her father-in-law’s hand on her baby belly I thought it was sweet, but then I read Dax Shepard’s description of what was going on as this picture was snapped:
“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.”
Oh. My. Goodness. I don’t know if it is my pregnant lady hormones but when I read his description and looked at the photo I was immediately a puddle of crying, snotty emotion.
No, it’s more than just hormones. I’ve mentioned before that I lost my mother to breast cancer when I was a teenager. I can actually imagine what that hospital room was like. I can hear the beeping of the machines and smell the disinfectant. A few weeks before my mom took her final turn for the worst I remember sitting with her, where Dax Shepard is, and telling her I was scared she was going to die. My mother smiled confidently and replied, “I’m going to be here for a very long time. I’m going to be at your wedding! I’m going to hold my grandchildren!”
This is why the mourning process takes so long when you lose a family member too soon. Because each major, happy life event is missing someone important. The happiness isn’t complete. I feel some pity for myself, that I don’t have my mother here for what will be the birth of her seventh grandchild. But I feel more pity for her–that she wanted so, so badly to meet the next generation of our family and missed it all.
In a desperate situation where everyone wants to help and no one knows how, Bell gave her husband and father-in-law a priceless moment– the memory of this grandfather meeting his grand-baby. I love everything about this story: I love how happy they all look; I love that Bell recognized the urgency of the situation and had the energy to haul her pregnant butt to Detroit; I love that the grandfather took such joy in feeling new life; and I love that Shepard is so clearly grateful to his wife for giving him this memory.
Source: Huffington Post
Photo Source: Dax Shepard’s Tumblr