As we are coming up on your 10th Father’s Day I find myself reflecting over this past decade. It hasn’t always been a “Happy Father’s Day.” In fact, I remember that very first one vividly.
It had been 2 months since we delivered our first child, a stillborn son. The wound was still fresh. I survived Mother’s Day with a shattered heart and a bucket full of tears, but when that June day rolled around, you did not want to be acknowledged as a Dad.
We ate dinner in silence and you gave me enough thanks for the gifts I got you so we could stop speaking the fact that your fishing buddy-to-be wasn’t here anymore. It stung that you brushed off the carefully thought-out gifts I gave you, but two months in with grief I had learned it was best to not press you about being emotional if you didn’t want to be.
The 2nd Father’s Day was a happy one.
It was filled with great happiness for our future. We were expecting again and looked ahead with much anticipation. I just knew you’d be a great Dad; you deserved to be recognized even if you didn’t want to be. Sadly, a few months later we said goodbye to your future dance partner.
By the time your 3rd Father’s Day rolled around we both were good at putting on happy faces.
We had nothing tangible to look forward to as far as the growth of our family. The pain of holidays like this one hurt to our bones, but we’d gotten used to it.
Little did we know that in a couple weeks, we’d find out that we were parents again.
Finally! Your 4th Father’s Day was a happy one.
You held our son- your new fishing-Buddy- with great joy. I remember those early months in great detail. You were so in love with our child- and still are. It didn’t take long before you wanted to take him hunting and fishing… we may have had an argument or two over this.
During the next year, we had another bout of hardships as we endured the loss of two more babies through early miscarriages. Things were different than the first two losses. You were a seasoned father to babies gone before we could meet them. Though we knew there would be a better day, it still hurt us to lose more babies. I’ll never forget the way you cooked, cleaned, and looked after our son without hesitation.
In time, you gained another little dance partner (who also loves to hunt and fish). Our sticky girl. She’s just like you- and that scares you… She is not afraid to get dirty and loves a good laugh.
After a while, another fishing partner came along. Even though he isn’t even two yet, you already include him in nearly everything you can. It may take you longer to do something, but you don’t mind- this time is special. Just because he’s your third here on Earth doesn’t mean he isn’t as sweet as our first. You’ve learned just how fleeting the early years go by that you want to hold on to it for as long as possible.
Bobby, your love, joy, and devotion to our family has not tired.
It has grown. It was hard- really hard- those first few years into parenthood when our arms were empty, but I can say this now… The children we lost made you a better dad and husband. Sure, we’d love to have all our kids with us, but they made our love for The Lord, each other, our kids, and life sweeter and better than we could have ever imagined.
Though you still don’t care for gifts on this day-or any holiday- consider this my gift to you on your 10th Father’s Day.
Thank you for your steadfast love and commitment to our life. I love you.
If you or someone you know has endured an infant or pregnancy loss, you may be interested in my book, Joy In Suffering.
You may purchase on Amazon, or other online book retailers. It is available in paperback, or as an ebook for those that prefer to read digitally on Kindle or other devices and apps.
Have you lost a baby or child and need someone to talk to?
I’d love to connect with you. Feel free to leave a comment below or email at rosemarypope.author @ gmail . com
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