May 17th she was born.
Today is Father’s Day.
I have been planning a benefit concert in her name for a year now with very little progress. I know that her life meant something and has a legacy. I wanted to turn my grief into something positive and powerful for other women.
It was all great until a certain level of stress and pressure manifested my deep down grief that I had been avoiding all year. My physical health started to crumble. My blood pressure was steady in the pre hypertension stage and my strength was fading. A grieving mother who stayed busy and tried to hold her life together reached a place of weakness.
I wanted to have a fundraiser by this time as a way to celebrate her first heavenly birthday. That didn’t happen.
I wanted to experience my loss with her father by going to a retreat for grieving parents.
That didn’t happen.
Her birthday creeped up on me like a storm cloud rushing in to bring the rain. I wasn’t ready.
I spent the day before drinking and sobbing. Calling family members for the first time to ask for ideas and support on celebrating my daughter’s first heavenly birthday. I didn’t even plan a memorial as our native tradition calls for a year later. I was unprepared. And I felt terrible. I slept her whole birthday in a depression.
It’s Father’s Day and although I think about her dad, I no longer grieve him along with her. The disappointment in him divided our “almost” friendship quickly after he showed that he was not strong enough to support me through the pregnancy and her illnesses. He helped in making some medical decisions about her birth but he was not physically present. He lived in another state and even though I begged him to come to me and help, he was selfish.
I have learned of many other fathers who faced the same circumstances with special needs children and they have left the mothers. Literally divorced and abandoned them. Sad isn’t it? Being a single mother is one thing but facing fatal diagnosis with the unborn child is another. Could you imagine being alone?
I was so hurt and angry that my daughter couldn’t experience his touch. She only heard his voice over the phone a couple times to say goodnight. The first time she kicked. It was a hard kick once he spoke to her and I held the phone to my belly. It felt like an angry kick. I was so amazed at the connection between life, spirit to spirit. I also realized that my baby girl felt my emotional pain and was protective of me. It was though she needed him too and wanted him to know. The grief over his absence carried alongside losing her. All I can be grateful for are the few moments he was present. Why torture myself about what I cannot change.
I was motivated to write about this because as people are celebrating great fathers and male figures for their children, there are mothers who WISH they could. Mothers who are grieving a baby, managing a special needs child or dealing with father’s who are NOT present. Let the image of my baby girl in my womb communicating so much in one kick. A power packed message to the man who was suppose to be her father. How much more deprived our some of our children? Especially the ones with medical needs? Fathers where are you?
I want to raise funds yearly for single mothers who are struggling and have been abandoned by family and their significant others. The burden is willingly carried by us because these are our children, but the rest of the world keeps moving and bills have no heart. Hopefully, one day The Merci Project could be an aid in filling a void that a father placed there when it comes to provision and support. Prayerfully, a nurturing environment can be given during pregnancy.
We’re coming mothers…we’re coming…