Monday, April 5, 2010

A Real Man

A real man is not afraid to cry. A real man came to me today with tears welling in his eyes.

Steve was cleaning out his (hail-pummelled) car today, in readiness to hand it over for being written off tomorrow. In the glovebox, he had found an envelope. On the front of the envelope, in my handwriting, were the combinations of names we had been discussing for Ellanor.

Ella Ruby
Eleanor Ruby
Ellanor Ruby

We settled on the last one, obviously.

I remember hastily jotting the names on this scrap piece of paper while we were driving somewhere. I was about 9 weeks pregnant with Ellanor at the time.

Steve was teary because, inside the same envelope, was a slip of paper. Printed on it was the Thank You I had written to our baby girl, about 2 days after she passed away. I wrote it, raw, straight from me to her, but read it out at her memorial. I must have folded it and, finding the same envelope still in Steve's glovebox (he doesn't clean his car out at the best of times), slipped it in there after the nauseating deed had been done, the day we publicly said goodbye to her.

A real man. One who can still stand. And, what's more, explain honestly and simply to his surviving daughter what his tears are for.

Thank You To Ella

Thank you for coming.

Thank you for arranging this meeting.

Thank you for your chubby cheeks and all that hair!

Thank you for responding to us differently to show us you really do know who we both are – for relaxing your face and sucking on your tongue when mummy held you and for actively listening, feeling your mouth and sucking your fingers when daddy talked to you.

For settling when mummy sang you your familiar songs or gave you a bath.

Thank you for letting us stroke your soft baby skin, for gripping our fingers and for so definitely pushing our hands away when you’d had enough!

Thank you for asserting yourself so quickly in life, to give us a glimpse into how determined and gutsy and real you are.

Thank you for your uniqueness, which makes you so special.

Thank you for making your caregivers at the hospital laugh. Some of them were a bit surprised at your “feistiness” and we love that you “asserted” yourself with them!

Thank you for your magnetic attraction – many people have expressed how interested they were in you after meeting you only once.

Thank you for your eye contact with us – truly the windows to your soul.

We were amazed, awed and completely entranced by the power in your eyes when we locked gazes.

Thank you for showing us how soft and deep you are – in the way you shared special private understanding when we were alone with you and in the way you caressed and explored us with your tiny fingertips.

Thank you for reaching 2kilos!

Your chubby little fingers and toes.

Your double chin.

Your cheeks finally hitting the bed with their beautiful pudginess.

Thank you for giving us hope, for making us parents after such a long struggle and for being the best and most memorable firstborn we could ever have dared dream possible.

Thank you for joining our family and becoming a big sister-in-waiting.

You would have shared special secrets with each one of your aunts and uncles, got up to mischief with your cousins, been showered with love by nanna and granny and melted the hearts of your grandpa and pa.

Perhaps you’ve already achieved all that and we know you will continue to do so.

And most of all, little sweetpea, thank you so much for loving us since your passing.

We know you, we feel you, we love you and we wish you safe travels

and a place to call home whenever you need it.

Archived Posts


Related Posts with Thumbnails