Paul and I took Ava camping with us. We were with a large group of people and camped at a dear friends house. There were camp trailers all around her home with cords leading out to each one.
The first morning we went into our friends house for coffee. Her daughter was there with her kids and one of them came out and said, "Mom, where are my shoes?"
"I don't know, ask your dad." She answered
Ava turned to me and said, "Gigi, I want my dad."
My heart sunk. There was silence and then not a dry eye in the house.
More and more she is aware that she is different. Other kids have moms AND dads. She keeps saying her dad is in the clouds. I suppose her mom told her that.
She ran up to Paul the other night and said, "Papa, I want my daddy back."
It breaks my heart. Such a huge loss for all of us. I would doubt she remembers him but then again, she is pretty sharp. She sees photos of him and tells anyone who will listen that that is her daddy. She wants everyone to know she has a daddy. I was playing a video with his voice on it the other day and she ran over and said, "Gigi, is that my daddy?" I don't think I had played it since he died, so who knows, maybe she does remember him. He was with her nearly every waking moment and took great care of her. The only time he was away was when he was at work.
I see him in her. Her antics. Her smile and the manerisims, it is uncanny. I know Paul sees it too, I have seen the tears well up in his eyes when she does something that is exactly like Phil. He sees Phil in Ava like I do.
I don't know how to comfort her. I simply tell her that I miss her daddy too and that he was my baby. She doesn't grasp it all yet and I am certain she will have to work through it like the rest of us. She has a hole in her young baby heart. A great loss of someone who loved her, someone who she had an experience of daily and then they were gone….forever.
Ava keeps me going. She is one of the great joys of my life. I have other children and I love them and they are all great joys in my life, yet, I must go on for Ava. I have done my job with them. They are adults, either living on their own or in College. We have all tried to find our way with the loss of Phillip. One thing that remains constant, we have all comforted the baby.
I sometimes think of the Pioneers who would lose all their children in the middle of nowhere, often they would bury them and keep traveling. What a great sense of loss and dispair they must have had. I think of these things not to be depressing, but it put things into perspective for me.
I will get through this. I will be changed. I will be stronger. For now, I am weak. I am broken down and learning to rebuild. Until then, I will find comfort by comforting the baby.