Well, it's that time of year again. Tomorrow is Father's Day, and yesterday Samuel would have turned 14 months old. Losing a baby changes what most holidays mean, but especially Father's Day. It's a strange time of year for fathers like me, who have a child, but they're just not here. Samuel is not here and I will not get to see him again for a very long time. It's not a day that I can celebrate like most fathers can. Instead, I'm left to look at his pictures or his things that are all around the house and remember. I remember what it was like to talk to him and to hold him. I remember what it was like to see him for the first time and when he opened his eyes and looked at me during that brief time he had with us. But remembering him doesn't make it any easier to bear the fact that he's gone, and it won't bring him back, even though he is always with me here in my heart.
RaeAnne is doing her best to try to make this weekend more bearable for me, but nothing changes the fact that it is just a very sad weekend. She is making some of my favorite foods for me, and she has some gifts for me tomorrow, and those are nice things and very much appreciated. But they would be so, so, so much nicer if we had Samuel here with us.
Below is an image that RaeAnne made for me for Father's Day. She did a great job and I love it! Thank you, honey!
She had a friend of hers in California create the really nice pictures you see below. She did a great job with the pictures! That's the Pacific Ocean in the background. I imagine that maybe Samuel has beaches like that in heaven. Click on any of the pictures to go to the website for her friend's organization that makes keepsake photography for babies and children who have died.
RaeAnne also asked another friend of hers to make the really nice graphic shown below. She did a great job!
Also, while I was writing this, a package arrived for me with a keychain ring with "DADDY OF AN ANGEL" imprinted on a square piece of metal and "SAMUEL EVAN" and a pair of tiny footprints imprinted on a round piece of metal. There was another keychain ring for RaeAnne, of course with the word mommy instead of daddy. Each one also had Samuel's birthstone attached to the ring. The package included an anonymous letter from someone who has been following Samuel's story on RaeAnne's blog and just wanted to do something nice for us. The letter was very nice, it was supportive and caring and encouraging, and it was simply signed, "Yours in Christ, A Neighbor Who Cares". It's really nice to know that there are people out there thinking of us, and that there are some who actually do understand. To whoever sent that package, THANK YOU! That was very nice of you and it is very much appreciated.
Life will never be the same now that Samuel is gone. There will always be a piece of my heart missing. On Father's Day it is especially noticeable. I want so much to be able to celebrate Father's Day like the other fathers do, with their happy families and healthy children. I sometimes wonder how things might be different if we had other children that lived. But I always remember that even though I can't hold Samuel in my arms, I am still a father.
Happy Father's Day to all the fathers out there. And please remember to acknowledge those fathers who have lost a child too soon.
I love you, Samuel, and I can't wait to see you again in heaven someday!