Three Months

Three months ago today we said hello to Simon.

That should mean that we are watching him grow, start to smile and coo, wiggle around. We should have started to figure out by now how he sleeps, how well he eats, maybe even a little bit of what his personality would be. We should be waking up a few times a night to feed him, change his diaper, console him.

We should.

But instead, three months ago today we said goodbye to Simon.

Every day is hard. Every time we wonder about what he would have been is hard. Every time his big brother talks about the baby brother he won’t meet (as he did just a few minutes ago…”daddy, why Simon not play with this toy?” or “why is Simon at his house?”) is hard.

I geared up mentally for today, knowing that the three month mark since we said goodbye would be an especially trying day.

But I’m learning something.

It doesn’t take an anniversary, or a moment, or a specific thought to make a day tougher than the last. All it takes is knowing that no matter what we do, no matter how much we wish, Simon died and he won’t be coming home. (That’s how we tell Nolan, and it’s the blunt, brutal, heartbreaking truth.)

So yeah, three months is a hard day. But so was two months and 12 days. And 1 month and 23 days. And…..

I don’t know when, or if, this pit in my stomach will ever go away, and honestly, I’m not sure if I want it to. It’s been my constant companion for three months, and in a weird way, it’s a way to carry my little boy with me. (Not sure if that seems crazy, but it’s honest to myself.)

Three months. Three damn months.

A Tale of Two Father’s Days

Nolan woke up early…I’m talking early…this morning. I brought him into the bed with me and we chatted for a few minutes, then I was (somehow) able to get him to rest and close his eyes. We both fell asleep for another hour or so. If you know Nolan, you know this is unheard of.

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We eventually got up and Nolan brought me the first of my Father’s Day presents. A super cute book called I Love Dad. Nolan had colored on it (and his belly) and is very proud of his artwork. We read it. One of us teared up. It was a wonderful start to Father’s Day.

After a nice morning hanging out at the cabin, playing outside and a walk up the road, we headed home.

When we got home, I got the next of my gifts. First, a really nice keychain with Nolan’s name and “Everyday. Everyday.” and Simon’s name with “Always & Always.” I cried a little more.

Then game the big gift.

My amazingly thoughtful wife had a picture drawn for me. The picture of me holding our little boy shortly after he came into the world. There is pain on my face, and an angelic, beautiful look on his. He looks so perfect. And it is a perfect drawing.

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But.

It is also a reminder on this first Father’s Day without Simon that I’ll never have the chance to cuddle with him in the morning, and I’ll never know if soothing him back to sleep would have been easier or harder than it is with his big brother. I’ll never get a beautifully scribbled work of art to cherish. I’ll never know anything about what he would have been.

It was two Father’s Days today.

A great one celebrating with a toddler who hugs my legs, and wanted me to come to him when he fell (to bring him milk, but that’s beside the point…). And one that hit me like a tidal wave, forcing me to paddle like hell to keep my head above water.

Saying goodbye to Simon is a loss I’ll never get over. It’s one I never want to get over. On a day like today, it’s a loss that hurts as much as the moments we heard those terrible words.

In His Eyes

There are so many songs written about someones eyes. Odes written to eyes. So many ways to describe their color. They hold wisdom, they shine like the stars. They are among the first things people ask about when you have a baby.

And we will never know what color Simon’s eyes were.

They were closed when he entered the world, and we never had the chance to gaze into them. Worse yet, he never had the chance to look up at his adoring mommy and daddy fawning over him.

It haunts me to this day (or more accurately almost every night.) Nightmares that everyone I love is in front of me but can’t open their eyes. They can’t see me, and they are crying out for me thinking I have abandoned them. It’s one of the two recurring nightmares that wakes me several times a night.

I will always remember looking into Nolan’s eyes when he was born. I will always remember staring into them as he grows and smiling when they smiled. I will always remember the pure blue eyes that look back at me so intently when we are talking.

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And I will always remember that Simon’s eyes were closed.

He was 6 pounds 3 ounces, 19 3/4 inches long, and had basically no hair. It’s one of the most heartbreaking things in a miles-long list of heartbreaks to know that I will never know what my son, my little boy, my Simon’s eyes looked like.

He never saw it, so I can only hope that he felt our love for the nine months he was growing inside Tera.

God I miss him.