Sunday, June 19, 2011
So Blessed to Have Him
Chris has had to endure things that most fathers his age can't imagine.
Tragedy will do that to you. Losing a child will especially do that to you.
While I was on bedrest with Melissa and Ann Catherine, he came by to see me every morning before work and after work. He would stay with me until it was time to go home and go to bed. On the weekends, we would sleep on the hard sofa in my room. I know it was exhausting for him, but he never complained.
When our girls were born 14 weeks early, he rode in the elevator with them to the NICU as the neonatalogist explained the grim situation. He was holding Melissa when they took me to the NICU to see her for the first time. He loved her so much.
When she died, I told him there was no way I could go the funeral home and make arrangements. I told him to let my parents do it, because I knew he was hurting too. He looked me in the eye and said, "Amy, I'm her daddy. She would expect me to take care of her." So he did. He and my dad went to the funeral home - on our fifth anniversary, no less - and he signed our daughter's death certificate and made arrangements for her service.
I couldn't do it, but he did.
He visited Ann Catherine every day in the NICU. He would go each day before work and then again at lunch (if he could) and in the evenings. He have video of him at her bedside when she was just a few days old. She was so sick she couldn't even open her eyes. You can hear Chris on video telling her over and over again, "It's okay, Ann Catherine. Daddy's here."
And he was.
Those reasons alone would make me love him until the day I die. But luckily for us, it's not the end of the story.
He was there when Lily Baker entered the world. Finally for us, a delivery with a happy ending. He was by my side telling me she was perfect. And healthy. He gave her her first bath in the hospital. He was there every step of the way.
It's the little things when you're a parent. Despite his busy schedule, he never missed one of Ann Catherine's t-ball games this spring. He threw balls to her in the backyard, showing her how to properly hold a bat and use her glove. He goes in their rooms at night, armed with a flashlight to prove there's nothing there to scare them. He passed on his first love of hockey to two little girls who would rather go to the rink than anywhere else.
He has changed as many diapers and given as many baths as I have. He has kissed boo boos, chased away imaginary bad guys and danced in the living room with princesses.
He's everything a Daddy should be and I'm so glad he belongs to us :)