Dax Shepard really isn't the guy he seemed to be back in the "Punk'd" era. In fact, these days he's much more like his beloved character on "Parenthood."
The 38-year-old actor and father to be with his pregnant fiancée Kristen Bell has written a moving modern ode (read: blog post) to his father who died of cancer in late December. In the piece, Shepard discusses their relationship in the end, and his feelings about his dad meeting his unborn child.
Get ready, folks – this one's a weeper.
"Whoever was writing my life couldn't figure out which storyline they wanted to tell, and decided to tell them all at once," Shepard writes early on, describing last summer when he was filming "Parenthood" and promoting "Hit & Run," which he directed and starred in at the same time he found out his "wife" (his word, not ours) was expecting and his father in Detroit had a swollen lymph node in his throat that tested positive for cancer.
Throughout the first half of the lengthy post, Shepard details his rocky relationship with his dad, and describes helping him through four months of cancer as a form of therapy.
"We were partners. We had taken on this cancer project together. He chose me to deal with all the doctors and creditors and landlords. It was the only project we ever teamed up on … One of the hidden benefits of cancer is that it can erode grudges the way WD-40 dissolves rust," he says. "It just finds its way into all the nooks and crannies and starts loosening. Before long, the once formidable chip on my shoulder had melded into something the size of a nicotine patch. Apologies were exchanged. Tears were had. Hugs were frequent and lingering."
During Shepard's final trip to Detroit just before Christmas, he snuck his dad out of the hospital so they could have one last hurrah together, and the actor describes the way his father's health had deteriorated. Still, "It was wonderful."
The following day, Dave Robert Shepard Sr. had taken a turn for the worse. That same day, Bell showed up to surprise both men. The actor shared the details of the moment when his father got the chance to place his hand on Bell's belly.
"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."
The couple left the following day, and Dax's father died six days later.
"We made it pain-free and with grace into the end zone; a feat that, as I write this, overwhelms me with gratitude. Our first project together was a total success. My only regret is that we didn’t take on more together."
Something tells us Shepard's very lucky son or daughter won't grow up to have those same regrets.
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