Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Permanently Changed

To my son Tommy,

Today marks the 5th anniversary of the stillborn birth of your brother Sal. We are also a couple days away from your mom's second surgery for bone cancer (or as we say to you 'bugs in the bones' because we don't want to use the "C" word with you) and hope this one is the fix. The nexus of these two has made for a little perfect storm of dread, and sadness, and depression, and anxiousness in both me and your mother. You, except for a couple out of the blue comments about baby Sal, are somewhat blissfully unaware.

They say time will make it better. I am not too sure of that. The sadness might change with my perspective as I get older, but the sadness is deep and complete. What I am sure is that baby Sal permanently changed me and your mom. A little piece of our heart is always with our littlest angel. He visits in our minds at the most unexpected times, sometimes consuming our thoughts and dreams. He has brought me tears just standing in a grocery line or staring at a computer screen at work.

Daily drama and small setbacks don't even come close to compare. What was once "tragic" before seems almost trivial now that we have experienced personal tragedy in a truer sense. I look in the mirror with disdain if I say "Why does something always happen to us? Can't anything go right!" and curse my self pity for some minor event.

To those who say to move on, I say I will always be his daddy. Your mom will always be his mommy. You will always be his big brother. Nothing changes that, not even moving on. I can't forget it and I can't ignore it and I choose not to hide it. But what works for me may not work for those others who have felt the unwelcomed comradery of this certain type of grief.

So as we deal with the real concerns of life, the sadness from our loss and the anxious concerns for your mom and her pending surgery, we use the only tools we have in our limited arsenal. We use hugs and prayers and love and faith, no matter how shaken it has become.

Sincerely with love from your dad,