Thursday, October 2, 2008


When he turned sixty, I gave my dad a short poem I had written, remembering a sweet moment the summer I was five. I was sitting in his lap reading The.Cat in the Hat C.omes Back out loud, and he was helping me, gently, with the harder words (what and the). I wrote the poem in my early twenties, and it wasn't very good technically, but it was read out loud to the celebratory dinner party; it was much appreciated and brought a tear or two. It still sits in its frame on the desk in his living room.

Last night as we were driving home from dinner (we have instituted a weekly dinner date) C and I were talking about how our parents occasionally allowed us a sip of tea or coffee or wine or beer when we were children. It allowed us to try things, but the tastes were always met with a frown or a "yuck!"

I flashed on a moment of sitting in the kitchen, on my dad's lap, his long bony legs angled slightly upward as he sat on the chair. I was 6 or 7 or 8, trying his tea or coffee or something. But I could feel his bony knees, and see his big hands. ...And I thought, what a nice moment it must've been, especially since my mom's was the lap of choice, and Dad was always working. Not easy to get close to him. But he was loving and open in that moment.

A sweet memory, and I thought about how I wish he had a grandchild with whom he could have that same experience. I wished I had a child who could have that experience with him. Just a "nothing" moment, after dinner, hanging out. Sitting on his lap, holding his hand, trying his tea.

It occured to me today that he had 4 potential grandchildren taken from him. The real hope of two grandchildren, taken. Twice.

It's just not fair.

I think about how sweet and silly he was when he visited, the week before we lost the boys. I let him pat my belly. He raved about how I should get be drinking organic milk, not the regular stuff. "Not for you," he joked. "This is for the boys." He loved them already.

Not fair.


k@lakly said...

Not only the loss of his grandchidren, but havng to watch his child suffer such pain and know there was nothing he could do to fix it.
As a parent myself, I can not imagine having to witness my child hurt and not be able to offer any comfort.
As I have often said, "Stillbirth, the gift that keeps on giving...."
You are so right on. Not Fair.

Newt said...

Those are lovely memories, if bittersweet. Thanks for sharing them.

Aunt Becky said...

Not fair, indeed.

Ya Chun said...

The grief and reach of these tragedies are tremendous.

And your turn at being an aunt has been postponed too.


(PS- it's safe to follow my blog again [if you stopped] I miscarried...)

Do your case and your sisters have anything in common, medically?

Anonymous said...

it still amazes me, how quickly we can grow to love those little ones before they're delivered. and how much we continue to love them afterward. as hard as this is for your dad, i'm really touched by his sadness. in my experience (as a dbm and as a blog-reader), not nearly enough family members actually grieve our lost little ones.

Martin said...

Ripples in a pool.

Tash said...

The good ones feel an awful lot, and miss an awful lot, too.

(The not-so-good ones apparently have forgotten the whole effin' mess.)

I love memories like yours, those innocuous moments that eventually mean so much.

girlh said...

beautiful post.
and you're right. it's not fair. not fair. at. all.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing this. My heart aches for you and for your dad. My parents visited last weekend and while it was good to see them it was hard to get over knowing that it should have been my dad's first meeting with his grandchild. I hate it that he lost him, too.

janis said...

This is such a beautiful, and heartbreaking post, Sue.
Thinking of you, and your father.

Carrie said...

Not fair is such a little way to express such injustice. It is so not fair, on so many people. No one deserves to go through this.

I loved your memory, it is amazing what stays with us.

CLC said...

Great post. Not fair at all. I can't stop saying it myself.

Thalia said...

Yes, it's often hard to see other's pain when you're in the middle of your own. And I'm sure you recognising your father's pain just deepens yours. I'm so sorry for all of these losses.

niobe said...

So incredibly unfair.

Antigone said...

so much potential.

Sue said...

What also gets me, and I don't think I said this in my post, was that I wish I had a child who could also experience that with him. I would like to have a child that gets to have him for a grandpa. Who could sit in his lap and enjoy him. Also.

Thank you, everyone, for your thoughts.

Sue said...

Ya Chun, my sister's doctor said that it was very likely that my cervix caused the pprom, if I was having any contractions at all, that could weaken or tear the closer sac. When they measured me at the crappy hospital, I was at about 3 and a half cm, so there's no telling, though they do say that the cervix is a dynamic thing. So, no telling. Also, her doctor has never seen me and is 2000 miles away.

They think it's just too similar to be a random coincidence. I don't know if that makes it better or worse.

Thanks, also for your consideration. I did pull back when you were pg, and I am just so sorry to hear of this loss.

(I would have sent this in an email, but didn't see one on your blog...?) Drop me a line if you like.


loribeth said...

The incredible guilt of knowing my parents will never be grandparents is one of the worst things about this whole infertility/loss experience. :(