Today is Father’s Day. I’ve been racking my brain all week about what to write today. I kept coming back to my feelings this past Mother’s Day, but this isn’t about me. I wanted to write about fatherhood and what days like today are like after the death of a child. However, I can’t. Men and women are so very different. I know my husband is one of the most caring, kind, incredible, hard-working men I have and will ever know. His love for me and our children is evident in everything he is. I knew I wanted to marry him when I could see in him the kind of man I saw in my own father. The wonderful example each of our fathers set for us was and is a blessing. So, today, I’ve invited my husband to be a guest blogger. There’s no better person that I know to discuss fatherhood and grief from a father’s perspective. Here is my love.
“Like many fathers, I spend most of my days away from home, with my attention focused elsewhere. I did not have the blessing of being with Caleb all (or most) of his waking hours like my dear wife did. I missed a lot of things with him, only to be told about them or shown the video evidence later. Nevertheless, this little boy found his way into a special place in my heart. That really shouldn’t be surprising, as he was always really good at getting into things.
In my life, I have not been exposed to death very much. I can still count on one hand the deaths in the family that I remember. I knew that couldn’t stay the case forever, but I never expected it would change like this. And then one day it did. For a long time, I held on to the hope that he would bounce back and defy the odds, like he so often had done. But there came a point where there was just too much evidence to the contrary. I cried. It was ugly.
There would be no more of Caleb being the first one to greet me at the door when I came home from work. There would be no more throwing him up in the air and hearing his squeals of joy. There would be no more hearing our bedroom door open and close in the middle of the night when he snored himself awake and came in for ‘nuggles. There would be no more amazement at his ever-increasing demonstrations of his strength, skill, and coordination (not to mention determination) beyond his years.
While I know I will see him again someday, I miss my little boy. I miss having little kids around. They kept me young. They kept me on my toes. I still have five children here, and I am looking forward to the new stage of life where we don’t have to plan around nap schedules or age/height restrictions. But I was not ready to be finished with the previous one.
Now, things are different. Caleb isn’t here. I try to value the important things a little more. I look for reminders of him in the things I do every day. I try to be a little better, a little more patient, and a little more loving. My family needs that from me.” -Brigham
That, my friends, is why I love him so.