Dad was really sad yesterday. I mean, he's always sad, but usually he keeps those feelings pretty deeply tucked away in his heart, on the inside. But yesterday, he was sad on the outside. Neither of us has had a very good concept of time since you died (I usually don't even know what day of the week it is, much less the actual date), so we didn't even realize Father's Day was coming up this weekend. Grandma (Dad's mom) called to see if we were going to make it to lunch with his family on Sunday, and whether or not Dad wanted to be recognized at all for Father's Day. He didn't really know what to say. After he got off the phone, he just laid on the floor, silently crying (don't tell him I told you that part). I asked him what was wrong and he said, "Father's Day is going to be so hard. I wanted to be a father to Stevie so bad."
I told him then, and I'm telling you now, he was and is the best Father in the world. Not only was he an amazing father while you were alive and growing in my tummy, he's been an amazing father since you died. I read a quote once that said something like, "the most important thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother."
If that's true (and I think in a lot of ways, it is), then your Dad deserves some kind of medal. He has shown me more love during the last five weeks than I ever even knew was possible.
He never left my side while we were at the hospital, even slept in the bed with me (which for a guy who is 6'10 and 295 pounds is no easy task). In the days immediately following your death and delivery, he held me while I sobbed, and sat in the bathroom while I showered when I couldn't stand to be alone for even ten minutes. He told me I was beautiful, even when I had a bra full of smelly cabbage leaves (which supposedly help stop milk production), a pad the size of a diaper, and eyes pretty much swollen completely shut. He has cooked for me. He's done the dishes every night. He's watched nine and half seasons (and counting!) of Law and Order SVU with me (with minimal complaining.) He's put up with my freakish mood swings. He calls me everyday from work to make sure I'm "okay." He has put his own grieving and sadness on hold to tend to mine.
Everyone seems focuses on the mother when a baby dies. But in a way, Dad has had it worse. His daughter died, and with her, part of me died too. He lost his baby and in a way, he lost his wife. I know the happy, carefree girl he met at summer camp when he was 13, dated in college, and married three years ago is gone. Hopefully she'll be back someday, but right now she's been replaced with a sad and empty girl who has no "spark," who doesn't want to do anything other than sit around all day and night and watch crappy TV. Dad has pretty much had to assume the role of "caretaker" for me, when he could really use some "taking care of" himself. He's been so wonderful and strong throughout this horrible, horrible time.
All of this is to let you know how lucky you are to have a father like your Dad. Most of the world may not recognize him as a father now that you're gone, but we both know he is, Baby. He's one of the best fathers there is.
Wish you were here to celebrate Dad's first Father's Day with us. We miss you more than you'll ever know.
Ps. Blogger/readers: my good friend Annette just started a blog about her daughter, Valentina, who was stillborn at fullterm right around the time we lost Stevie. The two of us have been walking a very similar (eerily similar even!) journey. She's an amazing writer--stop by and show her some love when you have a chance! :)
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