Father’s Day

I can’t believe the road we’ve traveled since last Father’s Day. I don’t remember if we brought breakfast to Chris in bed that day or what presents we gave him. (He doesn’t, either.) I do remember that we went to Tarka, an Indian restaurant. Chris loves Indian food and I’m not crazy about it, so I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it. Max even ate the chicken pakoras. Afterwards, we went to Sandy’s and looked at the toys and shoes and then enjoyed some frozen yogurt. I remember the frozen yogurt place was deserted and then loads of people came in as soon as we settled down. A movie must have just let out at the Alamo.

Although we were stressed and tired that day, everything was perfect. Lucy and Max were thriving. We had survived several months of parenting two children on our own. The future was bright.

We never imagined we would spend the next Father’s Day without Lucy.

Today has been bittersweet. Max and I were very excited to celebrate Chris this morning. There was a great deal of whimsy in our celebration this year, which is bound to happen when a three-year-old has input on the decisions. Max chose a syrup dispenser (or “pourer” as he likes to call it) for Chris and paid for it himself. He chose Christmas wrapping paper to wrap the gifts last night, as well as a card with a dancing bear inside. He took his job of “guarding” the gifts while I went to get tape and scissors very seriously, standing close to them and stage-whispering, “Is this how you guard them?”

When we took breakfast up to Chris this morning, Max was so excited I was afraid he would fall down the stairs. He raced in yelling, “Happy Father’s Day!” Good thing Chris was already up.

After the presents and cards were distributed, I caught sight of Lucy’s memorial folders still sitting on a table in our room. My heart sank. This day was just not the same without her. This is our first happy family holiday since she died. And it doesn’t help that she died on Mother’s Day. For a large chunk of the day, I have thought about how much I miss her and wish she was here. And I know Chris has, too.

Chris and Lucy had such a special relationship. Lucy derived her greatest comfort from her Daddy’s arms. He could always get her to smile. If Lucy woke up at night, Chris was the one who was able to get her back to sleep. In fact, she would call for him. She was usually happy.  She was just awake and wanted him to hang out with her. One of the last times she called for him it was a loud, decided, “Dad-DEE” ringing out clearly over the monitor.

If anyone deserves the title of “Dad of the Year” for this past year, it’s my husband. He endured things no father should have to endure. His baby girl being diagnosed with a serious, basically fatal, illness. His baby girl enduring painful procedures in the hospital. His baby girl slowly falling behind the other kids her age as she got sicker. Spending nights in the hospital with her. Basically living in the hospital for three entire weeks with her. Listening to doctors say she could die at any moment. Trying to give her CPR after the worst happened. Holding her and saying good-bye.

Chris could always endure the nights at the hospital better than me. No matter how strong and cheerful I was during the day, nights alone there got to me, especially if Lucy decided to scream instead of sleeping. Chris had the magic touch. He was so patient and comforting. He took an extra night once, so I wouldn’t have to do it. Eventually, we just started staying there together every night.

Despite the sadness, we are both so happy to be with Max today. Max and Chris share a love of IPhone games and YouTube videos. Chris always finds the coolest videos and games for Max, ones that are fun and educational. He plays with him and makes him laugh. He is very inventive and thinks of ways to entertain Max that would never occur to me. And he does it all in a way that reflects who he is. He shares himself and his interests with Max. He shows Max the wonders of the world and life and science as he sees them.

When it comes to parenting, my husband has done it all. Baths, diapers, cooking, feeding, you name it. If he could actually participate in pregnancy, birth, and breastfeeding, he probably would. (Right, honey? Right???) As much as he loves his children, a large part of the reason is because he wants to make things easier for me. He would do anything for any of us and he has.

Happy Father’s Day, love. It is so important to me that my children have a good, strong father and you have surpassed my greatest hopes. Thank you for helping me through this past year. Thank you for loving our kids so much. Thank you for working so hard. Most of all, thank you for Lucy and Max.

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2 Comments

  1. Debi Shaw said,

    June 16, 2013 at 9:23 pm

    Happy Fathers day, Chris…..


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