Today I miss both my father and watching the father my husband was to our daughter. I hope my dad is watching over my little girl now. That he’s taking her and her friends out for ice cream and to car shows. I hope he tells them how he once let a litter of kittens live in the trunk of the ’66 Mustang he was restoring because he didn’t have the heart to kick them out. I hope they watch movies together and he’s teaching her to draw. I often wonder what life would look like if they were both here. He would have loved her. Delicately held her–afraid she’d break. I wonder if he left us so soon because he had to be ready for her somewhere else.
I saw my dad in a new light when Zoey came to us. My dad and I were close, but watching a dad with his daughter from the outside was a new experience for me. I was always a little jealous of the way Zoey looked at Joe. Like she was in awe of him. I could see the love radiating between those two and I wonder if that’s how I looked at my dad when I was little. And Joe adored her—still adores her. I’m lucky to have him as the father of our daughter.
I know we grieve differently. I want to post photos so I can hear people mention her. So others can see the love they share. And I want a thousand reminders of her around me– anchors and butterflies and turtles. But I know it hurts him. We’re in different places. Most times I look at the photos and smile (not every day-some days looking through her albums is just too much). But I don’t think he’s there yet. So we hurt each other with how we grieve even though it’s unintentional. We’re still learning to walk this road together. And I hope that someday he can look at those pictures and see what I see: a bond between a daddy and his baby girl. The one that had him wrapped around her tiny little finger from the moment she arrived into the world. I know he feels it. I know he misses her. I know it hurts. But they love each other. A bond that stretches between heaven and earth.
Dad, please watch over my little baby bird until I see you both again. Wrap your arms around her. Share inside jokes and offer her Tang sandwiches. I love you both. I miss you both, but I’m glad you’re together.