This pregnancy, this child Daryl and I have created, this wonderful new chapter we're entering into in our lives...it all strikes me as so bittersweet.
Staring at this sweet baby of ours in the u/s picture, I have to swallow down a lump in my throat. As s/he gets bigger and looks more like a BABY (and less like an alien-peanut), I realize just how much I miss my father. And just how much I am angry that he'll never get to hold his first grandchild in his arms and kiss that baby's sweet cheek.
That ache in my heart, created almost seven years ago, is hurting fresh again. Like a scab I've picked off a not-totally healed over wound.
Before our appointment yesterday, I was already feeling slightly melancholy. But once at the doctor's appointment yesterday, when the baby Cashew popped up on the screen, my eyes lit up in delight.
I feigned mock-horror and cried out, "Oh look at that big nose! The baby has my 'Smith nose' My Dad would be so proud!" And almost immediately the baby rolled over, as if we'd offended him or her and we giggled as s/he showed us his backside.
"Look, "Daryl said. "You hurt his feelings!" Eventually the little one turned back around, all forgiven, flailing kicks and waving hands (future soccer player? or ballerina, perhaps?) and both Daryl and I watched enthralled as our love for each other wiggled and danced on the screen.
I drove to work this morning with tears in my eyes. There is Smith-blood running through that baby's veins. And it hurts me to think he or she will never get to meet such an integral part of our family.
How do I introduce this figure in my baby's life, a figure who is now nothing but a memory, no longer skin and bones to hug and kiss? How do I let him know all about his Pop-Pop who he'll never get to meet? Can I take my baby to my father's grave? Is that too morbid? OR will this baby see the beauty I see in this cemetery, and feel the comfort and peace that stows over me there...up on the hill, in my father's place of rest, as the breeze rustles through the tall Oaks and the warm sun smiles down on us? Do I tell him how his Pop-Pop loved peanut butter cups, black coffee and garlic bagels with strawberry cream cheese? And how his Mommy will still sometimes leave a peanut butter cup or a penny at that stone, as a gift, as a reminder that she stills thinks of him often, misses him, loves him?
I called my Mom a little while ago to tell her that I emailed her the u/s pictures of her grand-baby. She immediately clicked open her email, while I stayed on the phone, and we discussed the baby and his growth and his 'Smith nose'. I hesitantly mentioned how I was feeling sad the past two days, missing Daddy more so than usual.
"That's weird--" She replied, "--because I was feeling that way this morning."
My Mom and I often have this happen. One of us tells the other how Dad has permeated our thoughts only to find out the other has been having those SAME thoughts all day. It's comforting to me, to know that I'm not alone, and that she shares that same ache with me.
Almost seven years. You'd think "Isn't she over her Dad's death by now?"
No. I honestly don't think I'll ever get over it. I think I will continue to miss him more and more every day, especially as this baby continues to thrive inside of me, and wish he was here to go through this experience. I wish he was here, my big, strong Daddy, to hug me again. HIS baby.