Fourth of July. Freedom. Free to celebrate, to spend time with family, to eat great food and be a part of our communities and think about all the things that came before us… and you. Fatherhood hasn’t been what I dreamt of it being so far, having to hold a connection with my babies without being able to see and touch and hear them. I just wanted to hear your voices. To see what color your eyes were. I wanted to watch you grow and play and walk. I just miss you.
You were supposed to be here with us for this. It’s been such a strange, hard year, and I’m realizing just how easily things can swing after losing you. People have come into our lives who I never expected; people we’ve never met ask about you still, more than nine months after you came into the world. Others have found their way out, intentional or not, whom I never expected would leave. Such a strange world this is where we mourn those who are still living and celebrate those who have left us. In a season like this one where people come together and share about hope and life, I realize that those are the only things any of us have to hold on to.
I know you can see me down here fighting without you. I do my best every day to live in a way that would make you proud to have me as your daddy, and I pray that you forgive me when I fall short. The struggle that comes with a relationship like ours is one that is ripe with traps and I don’t always see them coming. I’m thankful for the perspective this fatherhood has given me, and I’m thankful for you. I love you
My Jonah… I was asked to talk about you this Saturday for a loss awareness event. I had a hard time saying yes because I didn’t want to be repetitive in how I help carry your spirit on. There are so many lessons I’m learning because of you that I want to share and I’m afraid that once I start telling the same ones I’ll get stuck. I want to grow because of your life and live out all those lessons. It took me a bit before I could say yes, but I couldn’t not talk about you. I couldn’t not do my part to help other poppas who are missing out on raising their children. Maybe one day my immediate reaction will be a yes before I even have to think about it, because talking about you is what keeps you alive in my heart. But on this day I have to work through the emotions of talking because you aren’t here, rather than because you are. I got there, but it took me a bit. Those are things we have to keep in mind – one foot in front of the other. I love you son, and I’ll see you Saturday
Hey big boy, we’ve been talking about you a lot this week. Your story is helping people and your spirit holds me up, keeping me steady. We’re taking your Nana out for birthday lunch this weekend and we all wish you could be there with us, learning from your cousin and doing all the things little seven month old boys do in a restaurant. One day I’ll see you again and you can tell me all about the things you’ve been doing. I can’t wait to hear your voice… we miss you
We took you to the fair yesterday. Checked out some games and rides, quilts and cakes, and did some people watching. I wondered if you would love looking at the little goats and gigantic horses as much as we do. I watched dads taking their kids in to look at the crocodiles and snakes, wishing I could take you to do the same thing. Your mom and I will be going to San Francisco soon and you better believe I’ll take you with us then too, taking in the history of the city. Our love grows deeper because you lived, son. One day we’ll meet again and you can tell me about all the things you love doing. I’ll sit for days just to listen to your voice
I miss you so much today. So many stories and pictures of families who get to spend time with their little ones. So many parents to get to look into the eyes of their sons and daughters, and I wish for you. I pray that you can see me and know how much my heart sings for you. I can feel you moving. I love you son
My Jonah… this is hard. Listening to other parents question what would be better for their child, watching parents and children who take each other for granted, reading about families who overcome the odds. It’s all hard to be a part of when all I want is to have you with us. We miss you more every day. Happy five months and two days, little guy – we love you
It’s Father’s Day week already, and I don’t know what to do with myself. Part of my wishes I could just skip past it, but I can’t shy away from acknowledging you. Going into your room lately has been as much about feeling like you still came into this world and remembering what it was like to hold you… it reassures me. I miss your weight, looking at your hair and little fingers. I wanted so badly to hear you cry and to look into your eyes but never got that chance, and this is all I have to reach out to you now. I’ll send you a balloon this weekend – maybe it’ll reach a little further than normal. It helps to watch my heart float upwards towards the heavens, holding hope that you’ll know its message. I love you Jonah
Good morning, baby boy. I can’t tell you how much I miss you. Some days I feel so broken and don’t feel anything like myself, and some days I feel so well that I wonder if I’m forgetting you or not feeling you. It’s such a strange place to be, but I’m working hard to be the father without you that I wanted to be for you. Memorial Day weekend coming up scares me… We just passed Mother’s Day which went alright, and Father’s Day is just around the corner and I know it’s going to hit me like a ton of bricks. Another day where we think about those who didn’t make it means another day that’s hard for me to swallow. It’s been hard lately, but I’m still moving forward and still feel stuck in the mud most days. But I love you, and that’s why we keep pushing. Things I’m learning by being your daddy are helping people, and that’s the only way I know to stay close to you.