The facts in my world on this day: Mitch was and is such a good father to Miles. And Miles died four days before Mitch's first Father's Day. Mitch will never have Miles with him on Father's Day.
I can easily say that I never want for Mitch to be in pain. But I know that's not to be for him. I know that joy and pain coexist for him just as they do for me. On most days, I know we are feeling the pain together and together we let it be--sometimes talking, sometimes listening, sometimes silent, sometimes crying. But on this day--on Father's Day--I so wish I could take the sorrow away from him. I so wish that Miles could be here with Mitch for Father's Day and every day. Oh, it hurts. Yet just as he said to me on Mother's Day, "I didn't get you a present because I can't get you the one thing you really want." And so the best I can do is to be with him, remembering...
Oh, how Miles loved his daddy. There were so many days in the hospital when, with me, Miles would sleep all day and then as soon as he heard Mitch's voice in the afternoon his eyes would pop open. And whenever he heard the rattle of the "orange guy" toy--the ridiculous orange creature that we could never figure out if it was a squirrel or a dog or who knows what really--Miles would look for it...looking more for his daddy than the toy.
And then there's this video that my sister took of Mitch playing with Miles...
Our days in the PICU were torture yet glorious (two terms that should just never go together, I admit). Those are days that we would never trade since they were our only days with Miles. They were happy times because there was Miles; we did whatever was needed because there was Miles, putting so much love in our hearts. Still, the days were so heartbreaking and draining for each of us in different ways. Mitch was balancing being a doctor, knowing the medical world, carrying the weight of understanding and explaining everything to me, while all the while being Miles' daddy. Taking off the white coat (sometimes literally), tuning out his medical world, and just loving his son--it was and is one of the most touching, lasting images I have of Mitch. Miles was his boy and was so, so loved.
This day snuck up on us today. We were so focused on June 16, the anniversary of Miles' death. We are past the one year mark of Miles' life. And here we are on yet another day of longing--longing that the end of Miles' story could have been different, that our story could include him right here with us on this day.
Soon our second child will be here...a whole new world with a baby girl. I'm so looking forward to seeing her with Mitch. Soon, I hope to have many memories of him with our baby girl. Still--there's this one thing that is in my head and in my heart---when I see Mitch as a father, it's as Miles' daddy first and there's joy in that for me.