Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Belated father's day post

I know that fathers day is now receding into the past, but I've been noodling on this post for some time and trying to figure out what I mean to say. Still not quite sure.

Fathers day is hard for me. Always is. My dad died suddenly when I was a kid -- 14 years old. And while I have healed and am a generally functioning adult, his death left his mark. I find that, now that I have a child, I miss my dad more than I have in a long, long time. Maybe it because I sing songs to my son that my father used to sing to me, or maybe it's because I am just sad that he doesn't get to know his grandson (or adult daughter, or son-in-law, for that matter), but I find myself crying more often than usual, and it's hard to blame the hormones when my baby is 5 months old.

After my dad died, my maternal grandparents, who lived nearby, stepped in and became very very active parts of our lives-- we saw them at least every week and they were at every school concert, play, and graduation until I finished grad school. My grandmother died 3 years ago after several years with Alzheimer's, and my grandfather, who was possibly the warmest, most generous man ever, died in March. He died peacefully and quickly, at 95 years old, in his home where he still lived independently.

He died 31 days after my baby was born, and 3 days after B's expected due date. So my grandfather knew he was a boy, knew his name, and knew he was healthy and that i was doing well. He got to see the baby over the magic of video chat, but I had not flown home for our first visit since we were instructed to wait until B had his 2month shots. But my great regret is that I did not make it home with the baby before he died. My grandfather was in great shape, and aside from being old, we had no reason to believe he would not live longer.

So while I had hoped that this year father's day would be a happier time-- after struggling to have a baby for so long, my husband was finally a father, it was hard and I'm still reeling a bit.

Making the day both better and perversely worse was that we had a lovely day visiting my in-laws. My FIL, who isn't the most laid back of guys, spent a ton of time on the floor with the wee one, and it was really wonderful to see him so happy. He has cancer, which is in remission, but still hangs over his head like a sword, and so this baby has really been a fabulous boost to his spirits. I love that this little boy can, just by being there and wiggling and smiling, bring so much joy.

So it was a really nice day for my MIL and FIL and DH, and for me too. But not too far beneath the surface was sadness that my dad doesn't get days like that with his grandson. That i don't get days with my child and my father. And that my grandfather, who gave me so much, never got to hold his only great-grandchild. He would have loved this boy more than the world-- I know this because that's how he loved me, his eldest grandchild.

I'm sad. I miss my dad and I miss my grandfather.


  1. Hug's from me to you :} I share your pain in a different way.

  2. Oh, this is heartbreaking. I am so very sorry for the loss of your father and grandfather. Having lost my father a few years ago, this certainly made the tears start pouring. The fact that your grandfather passed unexpectedly is particularly saddening, and I can empathize with the regret you feel, though I'm sure B. brought him so much joy, even without that face to face experience... I can really only say I wish you got to have all these things, too--I know how much I'd love to see my dad with Bun Bun.

  3. Many hugs your way. I'm so sorry for the loss of your dad and grandfather. And, I know this must have been a very bittersweet day.

  4. what a lovely post of remembrance. Thinking of you and your father and grandfather. Your son certainly has a wonderful legacy of men to follow even if only in memory.

  5. Oh, I'm so sorry--celebrations of things that come easily to most (but not to some of us) are fraught enough, but to have the grief of missing fathers & grandfathers is just too much. You're in my thoughts. (And, yes, this didn't originally show up in my reader!)

  6. More hugs from me sweetpea. I've lost a Dad, a step-Father and a beloved Gramps and Dadlessness on Fathers Day is the worst.

    :( ((hugs))

  7. (((((hugs)))))) from me too, and so sorry I didn't get to see this post til now (i'll say it again, dumb Blogger!).

  8. I actually had written a long comment and then right before I was done, pippa started crying, and then Richard used the iPad next and logged off! So, I blame everyone else but myself. I'm soo sorry how hard fathers day was for you, S. I hope you know how proud both your dad and grandfather would be to knowing what an awesome mommy you are and what a sweetie B is. As he gets older, I hope you see the best of your dad and grandfather in the baby. How great will that be? Sending hugs! Xoxo

  9. (i'm glad you posted again, because my reader had indeed eaten this, the fool thing.)

    i'm sorry father's day was so especially bittersweet for you; losing your grandfather just then seems very unfair. so glad to hear that he did get to see B, even if not in person. i bet he was thrilled.

  10. I can certainly imagine how poignant and sad this day is for you-- I find myself missing my grandmother, and even missing the relationship I had with my parents while growing up. I am incredibly lucky that I get to hear my parents sing the songs to P that they used to sing to me, but it still makes me a little sad that we've lost that aspect of our relationship-- and I know it makes them sad too. This is such an emotional transition to parenthood. It makes sense that old griefs arise, and need to be dealt with all over again. But it's hard, and I can only imagine how hard in the absence of your dad. But I am glad that B can provide such joy to your father in law. What a blessing.

  11. Just wanted to say I never saw this in my reader at all and I always read my TTC/infertility blogs list first.

    Hugs CTT

  12. Hugs. Very belated ones, but hugs all the same. I missed this post (and have just been getting caught up on reading to boot...especially regretful to have missed two such important posts from you).

    Father's Day sounds like an intensely bittersweet day. And the truth is that the joy at seeing your husband's and FIL's happiness is one thing, but the loss of your dad and your grandfather is another. They don't cancel each other out. They're just...different.

    I'm so sorry. That milestone must have been doubly hard for you this year. Holidays are hard after loss, period. And while your life has turned down this amazing Baby Avenue, you're still bound to carry the loss of your dad with you. I'm glad your grandfather knew about his birth. But I'm so very, very sorry that you did not have that time with him in person. Though - and I know that this is an outsider's view of your family - my guess is that this knowledge brightened his last days quite a bit. (And even if you couldn't bring him the baby, you brought him happiness).