In an incredibly candid, four-hankie Tumblr post about his dad's last days fighting cancer, Dax Shepard writes from the heart about his relationship with his father — and offers a sweet gllmpse at the strong bond between the actor and his pregnant wife Kristen Bell.
The Parenthood actor, 38, who tweeted on March 20 a link to his first blog post, starts his story with a bang: "My father, Dave Robert Shepard Sr., died on either December 30th or December 31st, depending on what time zone you were in.... He was dead at 62 years old. Small cell carcinoma was to blame. It originated in the lungs and then travelled with great speed to all corners of his body."
"He chose me to deal with all the doctors and creditors and landlords. It was the only project we ever teamed up on. We never built a tree house or a soap box derby car together, but you would have never known it by watching us tear through chemo decisions and radiation plans," Shepard writes. "We were two great minds with one single thought: get into the end zone gracefully."
The long post is an incredibly moving and thoughtful tribute to his rakish, charming, imperfect father who struggled with alcoholism. But tucked into the essay is also a little ode to his expectant wife.
Bell, 32, flew in and surprised father and son at the hospital, he recalls. "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."
This article originally appeared on Usmagazine.com: Dax Shepard on Kristen Bell's "Gift" to His Dying Dad: He Felt Her Baby Bump on Death Bed For an Hour