"I don't think I have anything to write." Is what Nick said to me about my question of writing for Father's Day, in line at the airport in Iceland on our way home from our trip this past Wednesday. Nick doesn't process his feelings with words and that is okay. We are different in that way. So today I will leave you with a love letter I have written for Nick in honor of our first Father's Day together.
I love the sound of your name Nic-ho-las. I love your beautiful greenish brown eyes, that you swear are just brown. I love your smile and the tender way you look at me from across a crowded room. With only the words your eyes convey, I know your love for me is deep and true. And for that, I thank you.
When I envision our daughter now, I imagine her with your eyes. How I long to have your eyes as her eyes stare back up at me. But honey, we never were given the chance to have our gaze meet hers. But, my darling husband, you have given me the greatest gift. You gave me Nora. Our daughter. She was so beautiful, a wonderful combination of the best of you combined with the best of me. She was perfect in every way. And for that, I thank you.
You also gave me the gift of motherhood. Nora made us both parents, but you made me a mother and I made you a father for the first time. There is magic in that, even if our roles are now different then we had imagined them, you helped me become a mother. And for that, I thank you.
And Nicholas, you still provide me with the strength to get through every day, no matter how hard it may be. In the early days, after we lost her, you were the one who made sure I got out of bed everyday. You were the one who tended to my physical scars and my broken spirit. You were the one who nursed me back to health. And for that, I thank you.
Now, five months out, and with grief living as our child now, you nurture us both. You let me tend to my grief, as I lick my wounds or write my sorrows. You allow me to spend time with grief and not judge if she takes time away from our marriage, because you know I will come back to you when I have had my time with her. You let me nurture my grief, as I would Nora. And for that, I thank you.
You are an amazing man, loving husband, and the bestest friend anyone could ask for. And honey, on Father's Day, I want you to know you are a wonderful father as well. I know that you, at times, do not see yourself as a dad as there is no child in your arms to hold. But you hold Nora in a different way. You hold her in your heart alone and that is a difficult job for a dad to do. You are a strong dad. And for that, I thank you.
And if that does not convince you enough, remember when I was pregnant and you badgered me about what I ate. That was being Nora's dad. Remember when you would rub my feet as they seemed to grow as Nora would. That was being her dad. Remember when you researched day cares, college funds, and how to put your crying baby to sleep. That was being Nora's dad. And remember when you would lay your head on my belly and Nora would kick you in the face (she was so considerate). That was being Nora's dad. Remember honey, the day she was delivered into this world. I was scared and you were scared, but you held my hand through it, and you held her sleeping body with tender love and sadness that only a father could feel for his daughter. That my love, was being Nora's dad. And for that, I thank you.
On Father's Day, Nicholas, I want you to know that Nora could never have a better dad then you.
I love you forever and always, and so does your daughter.