It's not often that I delve into matters of my heart that are difficult. Unless we're talking medical school I tend to stick to positives, things I can share without feeling vulnerable, parts of my life that are easy and fun. I'm sure it's partly to do with the aspect of life that sometimes it's easier to just not think about things, to not let your mind wander into territory you know it doesn't like. And part of it is the susceptibility and unevenness that it sometimes puts you in. A bridge with no end. A boat without a paddle.
But there's something that's been on my mind more often than I'd like to admit as of late and enough is enough, sometimes you just have to let it come and delve right in.
The first day of the month should have been my dad's 61st birthday. And I guess in some sense it still was. But he hasn't been here to celebrate that day in thirteen years and thirteen years later the day passes by and I still feel that hole in my heart, a hole that's gotten smaller with time, a hole that's been somewhat filled by the love from others and the memories of him I'll have forever. But a hole none the less.
This year was quite different than the last twelve though. Because my life is drastically different this April than it's ever been. There's a sweet, little babe in my belly and even just typing those words in the context of my dad sends a pang through my gut I can't explain.
He won't be here to hold this baby of ours and nuzzle his beard on new soft skin. Our babe will grow up not knowing his voice, his jokes, his stories. Some day J and I will have to explain why there's a missing grandpa in his or her life. I'll spend years potentially finding parts of my dad that show up in our child; his facial features, his hair color, his personality. And part of that is a blessing, being able to remember him and cherish him. But it's also a curse at the same time, I'll never see the two of them together, sporting matching hair lines or grins or whatever it might turn out to be.
Growing up without my dad around has been hard in more ways that I can probably even pinpoint but some of the hardest are the celebratory moments I wish he was here for. My graduations, milestone birthdays, our wedding, this sweet babe. I've never talked religion here because frankly, I'm still not sure where I stand on the whole idea of it but there's no doubt in my heart that my dad is somewhere. That he's been standing in the back of the room for all these important events in my life, clapping his hands, smiling and laughing or wiping tears from his eyes.
And I like to think that wherever he is, that somehow he's already met this sweet babe of ours, that he held his grandchild in his arms before I ever did, that he introduced himself to this baby and knows him or her well. Believing this is the case helps me cope just a little easier.