I perused the card aisles. As it turns out, they don’t make cards for dads like you—nothing for the dad in grief, nothing for the dad who does not get to see his child grow up.
Just over three weeks ago, we stared at the screen together. You said to me that as you saw the image of our too still baby, you thought, “that’s my little girl” and fell in love with her all over again—fell in love with the girl that you knew was already gone.
And isn’t that the perfect image of a father? One who manages to love more when it seems all hope is lost, when that love cannot be returned?
It was you who first spoke aloud our daughter’s name, during that moment when we both knew, but I was too scared to say it. “I think her name is Avelyn.”
There are no cards. Hallmark and the lines of Father’s Day marketing don’t know what to do with dads like you. You, the dad who picked out material for a blanket that will be used as a burial shroud. You, who held my hand and cried with me when the doctor confirmed that there was no heartbeat.
You are the dad that Avelyn needed—the dad she needs now. The dad who remembers her when the world forgets. The dad who speaks her into being by giving her a name. The dad who continues to love the little girl who died too soon.
Happy Father’s Day.
Jennifer and Avelyn Grace