My Dearest Sugar,
I wanted to capture a couple of moments here before I lose track of when they occurred.
Despite the fact that our magical Little Love (Your Bub) was a mere 18 months old when we lost our battle with cancer, she still appears to vividly remember you.
Each evening, before we go to bed, she asks if we can talk about you. Often these musings are about very generic things “Daddy liked salad. Daddy liked pasta.” That sort of thing.
On Dec. 28th, the dialogue went like this:
Little Love – I miss Daddy
Me – Me too
Little Love – Daddy wore a hat!
Me – yes, he did!
Little Love – a red one
Me – that’s right!
Little Love – a baseball hat!
She was exactly right. Whether she said this because she’s seen pictures or truly remembers, I’m not sure, but there are other examples that aren’t at all associated to photos, so I’d like to believe that she remembers you in your red Appleton hat.
A few days ago, I made us both a protein shake and when I pulled the shake bottle down from the cupboard (which we haven’t used since you died), she said “That’s Daddy’s bottle.” She remembers…
Tonight, well tonight was the most magical and difficult of them all so far.
While putting her to bed, we engaged in our usual “talk about Daddy” discussion.
She began by telling me that “Daddy liked water with lemon in it. He took the lemon out and gave it to me”. She’s right. You did. We’ve never discussed this and there are no pictures of it. This would have happened nearly a year ago now and this simple experience popped into her head tonight. Such a magical thing.
She then asked “Where is Daddy?”. This isn’t new. She asks where you are often. We always launch into the dialogue of “Do you remember? Daddy got very sick and then daddy died.”
Tonight was different. Tonight, when I reminded her what happened, she responded with “Daddy is lost. He’s at the hospital. He is lost.”
I couldn’t stop the tears from running down my face. My guess is that she now understands the concept of “losing” an object and that the lost object is always found. In her mind, you are lost and it’s only a matter of time before we find you. I suspect this will come up again and again until she learns what death is. At only 2 years and 4 months old, I know this conversation will continue to evolve throughout her childhood.
I haven’t had a chance to write about our upcoming move to Panama (I’ll get to that soon, I promise), but when I said “Who will go with us?” Her response was “Mommy. And Viva. And Daddy will be there.”
It’s truly a gift that she remembers you and loves you so much that she expects you to be there for key occasions, but it breaks my heart to know that those expectations will never come to fruition. The love that you had for her was like no other that I had ever seen. She deserved that just as much as you deserved her and the love she still has for you.
You have my promise that I will always put her happiness first and that she will always know just how much you loved her and how hard you fought to be here to raise her.
With all my love,
I just want to say thanks. I lost my husband to cancer a few months ago, 6 months after diagnosis and we have a 4 year old. Everything, from having to hold it together for my son, to the heartbreaking things he says, to the treatment from my inlaws…it’s like I’m reading my own words and it makes me feel like I’m not alone. My best to you.
My apologies for not seeing this or responding sooner. This surreal new life can be a whirlwind as you know. Sending you love and light on this more difficult of days (Father’s Day).