I don't say happy Father's Day to the father of my children, today I was asked why. I appreciate the questions, it means that she cares. I appreciate the thought, the intention of love, the courage to ask a potentially uncomfortable question. I appreciate the opportunity to check in with myself, to reassess.
She asked if my lack of "happy" when referring to Father's Day was for the sake of his feelings or mine. At first I said his, and quickly changed to "both". Father's Day does not feel happy to us anymore. In fact we only got one year that did, the year that Ruthie Lou was in my belly and to be honest, not that he wasn't happy but being a father didn't feel real to him yet like it did for me. We were both parents at that point but my job as mama had already begun and felt so real, I was tending to Ruthie Lou's needs every second of my being and Chris, well he did a great job taking care of me but I don't think that led him to feel quite like a dad just yet.
I have pondered this question all day. Why don't I tell my husband "Happy Father's Day", why can't I tell anyone happy Father's Day without a pit in my stomach, if I can even bring myself to say it at all?
I love our life, I love our family, I love our son. I am so grateful that we have survived and are thriving and continue to choose each other day after day through the good and most importantly through the bad. We are lucky to have one another but there will always be an emptiness where our daughter should be. We will forever mourn her in our life. They say having a child is like "having your heart walk outside your body", where does that leave your heart when your child has died, does it die too?
Today our sweet 5 year old neighbor asked if Reid had any brothers or sisters. What was once an innocent question now carries so much weight. "Yes, he has a sister." I tell her. "Where is she?" she says. I was quickly able to stumble my way through that conversation with a child but I was not quick to recover my heart.
I have learned not to question why I do certain things in regards to Ruthie Lou because while it may not be logical to others, to Chris and me it is our reality. My heart will always ache for her. I get a few more short years before Reid understands these big days; Mother's Day, Father's Day, my birthday, days that are so painfully raw and until then I get to take care of me. I made a promise to myself that when my living children are old enough to participate knowingly that I will be present for them but until then, today was just another day and a sad reminder of all that should have been.
I am so grateful to those that shared their love and good wishes to my husband today, he needs to hear the words from you because coming from me, Father's Day just doesn't feel happy.
I am mama of three beautiful babes; two sons whom I have the privilege of raising and my daughter who lived for 33 sacred days.