Recently missing my Dad has been different, on the visit to my brother’s for Christmas we were blessed with an early present from Santa with the news that my husband and I were having a baby. Needless to say the whole family were overjoyed, despite it being very early days, it was nice to share the news and excitement with our closest, especially in person rather than via FaceTime.
However, there was one niggle that I just couldn’t get rid of…Dad. I’d be wishing to him for me to fall pregnant, my husband and I have said for a long time that we always wanted children together and had then made the decision to start building a family so I prayed to my Dad to look after us and bless us with a child. You’d think the news of my wish coming true would be heart warming (which of course it was) but I still had this pang of upset, something was digging at me and it wasn’t the changes in hormones or the natural nerves of becoming a first time mum. It was that I couldn’t tell him, or I could but I couldn’t see or hear his reaction, I couldn’t watch him get excited, then well up with emotion, stutter and say something completely ridiculous in a nervous flounder and do all the things that I know he would.
This is ultimately what hurts the most when you lose a parent or someone close. You don’t miss what you had, you have fond memories that you can look back on, laugh at, joke about, cringe at and get really annoyed about, what you really miss is what memories you are making without them. I’ll never have a Poppa M for my children, I’ll never see him cuddle them, feed them, watch over them, ask about them, get giddy over them and argue over how he thinks I should or shouldn’t parent them (although I think my mum always intervene with this telling him to shut up!).
I loved seeing my Dad get teary eyed as he looked over my nephews with pride, he ooozed it for those boys and had lovely little stories about his time with them in America. I’ve often read my sister-in-law’s blog about how Poppa M and Granny T looked after their babies, as well as getting lots of short pictures and video clips that we share on the family messaging group, and it’s lovely to see the rituals and routines that my Dad created in the short time he got to spend with them. But there’s still that part of me that’s a little envious of my brother and his boys, they got that part of Dad that I’m going miss – don’t get me wrong I know they’ll now miss this relationship with him building, but I’d love to be able to have my Dad shouting with pride and encouragement as mini-me totters taking their first steps, or my toddler sit on his knee stealing marmalade on toast. All I’m left with is the knowledge of what he would’ve or might’ve done for them.
That’s all really what we are all left with, the knowledge of his feeling towards us and our family, we can imagine what he would’ve done and take comfort in the joy and pride he had for all of us, but we don’t get to experience it anymore, we can only make predictions based on our memories.
So as my excitement builds towards growing a new life and family, preparing nervously for the onset of motherhood, I wish Dad was here to witness it or should I say he was here to physically be a part of it rather than in a spiritual way. I wish he was here to tell me off (in that horrible abrupt and sarcastic way he had sometimes) for panicking over the little things, or worrying about things too far in the future or about what other people think. I just wish he was here to share it with us.
Because you don’t miss what you had, when you lose someone it’s what you’re not going to have that hurts the most.