A Birthday Letter to My Dad

Dear Dad,
Tomorrow is your 74th Birthday. You passed away almost 3 months ago on Feb. 15th (the day after Valentine’s Day).

Since you’ve left this mortal life, our lives have not been remotely the same. I can’t even begin to tell you how deeply you are missed, thought of, talked about. Your stories are legendary. Your jokes retold. I think you would be so pleased and happy to know how much you have affected so many people throughout your life for the better. Everyone loves to tell me how much they love you, and everyone has a hilariously awesome story to tell me about you. It’s been a gift in someways to have this opportunity to focus on you and honor you, we’ve learned more about your life and we’ve loved you even more.

Each day, I have a moment when I pick up the phone to call you. I can hear your voice in my mind “Dee! My Dee!” answering the call. Then the reality sets in that we can’t have that conversation, that you are busy on the Lord’s errand in another place and I need to be patient and save up my news for the resurrection, or my own journey into heaven.

Dad, I want you to know (and I know that you do) how much I love you. I know that you and I had some rocky times years ago, but I assure you that every bit of that washed away and everything that remains is pure love and gratitude for everything you’ve given me. I just miss you. My heart aches to hear your voice.

On Sunday in our ward at church it was Mother’s Day. One of the speakers was talking about Mothers of course, but then he lovingly honored each of his daughters beaming proudly and exclaiming how truly proud he was to be their Dad. At that moment my tears flooded my face (the full on ugly cry) because it felt as though that was you up there saying those words to me. I know you were proud of me, and each of us kids. Your family were your riches, and you let us know it. It was hard on Sunday as I felt the flow of tears dripping down my cheeks, but then a flood of warmth filled my heart and I knew for just a moment you were there and came to let me know you loved me on Mother’s day.

Daddy, I don’t think I can ever get over this loss. It’s harder than I imagined losing a parent would feel. I always knew that it would be so painful, but the hole in my heart that remains is like on ongoing ache. I am doing all that I can to just keep moving, and to do so with grace and gratitude. I can feel better for a awhile but then the reality that I’m going to live the rest of this life without your hugs is unbearable. Nobody loves me like you do. So when you left it just has been so apparent how precious you are to me.

This experience makes me more and more thankful for our Savior Jesus Christ. That he performed the Atonement on behalf of all mankind because he loves us so much, and wants us to return to the presence of our Heavenly Father. It is armed with my deep faith and a love of God that I am able to keep going. It is with joy that I dream of a reunion with you, how great will be my joy to see you again.

I wish you a Happy Birthday Dad. You are my Dad for all Eternity, thank you for the binding covenants you made with Mom and Heavenly Father to ensure we can be together forever. I love you infinitely and truly.

Your Pook,

I can't help noticing

I just can’t help noticing that I would have been 17 weeks +5 days pregnant today if all had gone well. I’ve had so many people ask me how I’m doing since the miscarriage and just haven’t felt ready or able to answer alot of questions. To be honest, I still have hard moments where I feel more tender and vulnerable.

I was mentioning to my friend Cheryl last week that one of the greatest pains of a miscarriage is realizing that life goes on for everyone around you. You just can’t get away from it, life keeps moving for everyone and you’ve got to keep rolling along too. So though I have MUCH to be thankful for, I still have sensitive moments where I quietly grieve the loss of what might have been. I also have the reminder each day as two of my sweet sister-in-laws are expecting little bundles within the same month I would have been due. It’s an interesting position to be in, I’m happy for them and I love hearing all they are going through. I love being included in their moments. But that is also the hard part for me realizing that instead of feeling the 100% joy for them, it’s intermingled with complicated thoughts for myself as well. This is hard for me to accept as all I want is to feel the pure uncomplicated and untouched joy for them and all they are experiencing. I’m all about love, it’s just in me to love all the way. So when I have any sad thoughts for myself in those times, it throws me for a loop. It just feels unnatural to think about my loss.

Why am I blogging it out there for the world to see? Well perhaps I need a touch of tenderness tonight from those around me. But mostly I know that there are so many women who experience this pain and I think it helps to hear that what you are feeling is normal. At least I hope that what I’m feeling is a normal part of the process. I won’t be posting much more on this in the future, it just hit me at a tender time and I felt compelled to write it down because bottom line, I loved the baby I will never hold, and I just want it on record somewhere that it really happened. That way I can keep rolling along as I’m needing to, knowing that I would have cherished the experience of raising our sweet little child. But also that I’ll never forget this experience which has brought me some moments, people, strength and peace at different times, that I needed. And even though I wish I didn’t have to go through it, somehow I’m grateful still for the lessons I’ve learned and the love I have felt from God and all around me. That I am grateful for, not the loss but for the filling up in other ways.