I have mixed feelings about holidays celebrating being a parent. I understand the concept but obviously struggle with the idea. For those who do not have their children in this life, it can feel insulting and maybe in time, that goes away. The ache I feel in Birdie’s absence is now just like breath, it is always there, it rarely surprises me and I think of her throughout every single day. When Father’s day rolled around this year it was something we wanted to ignore. Mick spent his afternoon golfing with a friend and we did our best to remain distracted. Grief is a lonely place. You can be in a room filled with people you love, laughing, even tears of happiness streaming down your face and suddenly a wave of loneliness will sweep over you and take your breath. It’s part of an existence in which you grow familiar and slowly become less and less surprised by the alienation. It’s not a loneliness making you feel unloved or unlovable, it is simply a reminder that pieces of you exist entirely elsewhere and always will. The heart is splintered and misshapen with the absence of one you love and those parts never return. There is sadness there but there is also something oddly warm knowing the missing pieces have names and faces. This loneliness is not something anyone can judge. Some people exist in a state of perpetual loneliness and until you know that pain and how you would cope – you should simply love them in whatever way they let you.
Mick is the very best father and deserves a day celebrating this –
He fearlessly made me laugh while my body was breaking down and nurses were in a panic
He explained in serious detail what a thunder coat is so the nurses could make me one out of heated blankets
Having only been a father for ten minutes, he sat in a room of Doctors hearing frightening truths and remained hopeful
The gentle touch of his nose on Birdie’s forehead and softly spoken words of love in her perfect ear
He looked twelve strangers each in their eyes, without flinching, and asked the right questions and was never intimidated
He kept me from punching a doctor in his face
He stayed up all night, every night, just to hold Birdie’s hand
When I couldn’t stand on my own he held me so I could reach into her incubator and say hello
He was always asking the nurses if he could try to feed her, bathe her, change her. He memorized her readings and knew what every number, beep, gauge meant.
When days bled into nights and we traded sleep for moments with our girl – I never had to ask for one more hour, his answer was always yes.
He washed bottles while I sat in a sterile room weeping
He told me to walk away as I began to lay into the 18 year old cashier for weighing my salad dressing packet
He was a rock to us all and just like every other day of our life, he demanded respect but did so with such grace and admiration.
I would like to think someday it won’t be this hard…someday a random Sunday in June will be something to embrace…