One of the privileges of growing up with a close set of friends is that you often take for granted the ‘when we are olders’, the ‘when we are married’ and the ‘when we have kids’.
We’re all in our late 30s now – most of us married, some divorced, some married again… a good number of us with kids, sensible cars, and proper jobs. All doing things we swore we’d never do when were teenagers.
So, when one of the gang abruptly doesn’t make it then everything grinds down…
Your wife was 38 weeks pregnant with your rainbow baby when you died – you were so looking forward to being a father, and babies keep on coming, even during all the confusion.
Your daughter was born into a world of chaos and confusion and sadness and huge all-encompassing love.
A gorgeous slither of hope and new life, the much longed for JaffaCake, burst out; a superbly feisty little lass – fearless and alert, with eyes that lock on you and take in so much wonder.
It’s Father’s Day, and I’m allowed to acknowledge how much we miss you. Not just ‘you – the spikey haired geek’. Not even just ‘you – the really nice guy who noticed everything and felt all of our losses and triumphs acutely’, and not even ‘you – the husband who loved his girl and would do anything for her and the little one she was carrying’.
This is the ‘you’ we were all looking forward to meeting and never had the chance. The ‘you’ that was a Daddy. The way that would have changed you. Your world would have become bigger in an instant, and your microcosm of family would have been all encompassing. We miss the way you would have looked at your daughter, and the new love you would have found for your wife as she became Mummy. The tag teaming of night time shenanigans, and the exhausted takeaways.
Your daughter – a beautiful little girl who carries your heart – will never bring you breakfast in bed on Father’s Day. We miss seeing you turn into the father you would have been, we miss you when we are talking about poo. We miss your tired morning face after being up all night with her.
They have done so well, your girls. I bet you’re so proud of them. Your wife and daughter really are an incredible team.
So, on your first and never Father’s Day we promise you this.
We will make sure she grows up hearing your name, being told the stories of our excellent adventures, and feeling how much you loved her and were longing to meet her.
And gorgeous little JaffaCake, on your Father’s Day, this year and all the rest, we promise you this.
We will never forget your dad. There will always be a cold beer for him. We will answer all your questions and hold you tight when you can’t feel his arms around you.
Happy Father’s Day Steve, we know you will always love your girls. We’ll look after them.
If you would like to read more about Bryony and Jaffa Cake’s journey without Steve, you can read her blog here: http://letterstoasmallbaby.wordpress.com/.
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