Many months ago I talked to my family about my apprehension of reaching the day when Annie had lived longer than Maddie. Later, someone did the math and realized that the dreaded day would come on June 19th… my mother’s birthday.
This did not sit well with my mother. Her mother (my grandmother) emigrated from Portugal, and brought with her to the New World many Old World superstitions. While my mother dismisses most of them, she nonetheless worries that things “mean something” or “are a sign.” She will also stop you from talking about plane crashes if you are due to get on a plane because she worries you will “jinx” your flight.
Considering all of that, you can see why my mother was a little unnerved. Deep down she knew the fact that this sad day fell on her birthday didn’t “mean something,” but was still sad that her birthday was tied to the loss of her granddaughter. She’d gone through something similar a few years earlier when her sister Legia died on her birthday.
I reassured my mother this did not “mean something.” The calendar was invented by man, I told her. It holds no mystical meaning. It’s just an arbitrary date and there’s no reason why she should feel any worse about it than if the day fell on any other date.
Of course at the time I didn’t realize that the day not only fell on my mother’s birthday, but Father’s Day as well. Suddenly this tough day became just a little bit harder to get through even for me, Mr. Level Headed.
Heather wrote such an eloquent post yesterday about what this date feels like that it captured what I am feeling as well. There is one thing she didn’t touch on though that I can’t seem to get over. It’s that while I became a parent nearly four years ago, only today am I father to a child who is a day older than seventeen months old. I’m only now reaching where I should have been on April 8th of 2009.
It’s so hard not getting to watch Maddie grow any older. Yesterday I went to Dr. Looove’s office to get my stitches out, and while in the waiting room I saw a little girl about the age Maddie would be if she was still here. It blew my mind to watch her hold a full conversation with her mother, and to think that I should be able to have full conversations with Maddie too.
I know that one day soon I will sit down and have a full conversation with my other sweet little girl, and it will be wonderful. But I will never, ever stop longing for the one with my sweet Maddie Moo.