We did it. We made it. We survived Reginald’s first year!
When I say we, I mean Adam and I.
We also means our village now. Our roommate, Adam’s best friend, who goes beyond the call of friendship on a daily basis helping. Our parents, siblings, and amazing network of friends who continue to support us by spending time with us, watching the boys, and offering a listening ear. Our village is YOU reading this, sending words of encouragement and prayers for comfort.
I remember the day we found out Adam had cancer. I came home to get some things. One of my dearest friends came over to watch Ed. After his bath, we sat in the boys’ room and talked. I cried holding my 18 week pregnant belly and shared with her my fears. I shared the heartache and fear we wouldn’t be able to raise our family together like we had envisioned.
I knew in that instant life had changed. Our dreams had changed. Reality was adjusted in less than 12 hours.
My girlfriend didn’t tell me it would be okay because she is a wise. Instead, she told me our village would help us raise our sons, assuring me of the love our children would know. Our children would grow up learning how to help others because of the help given to us.
She was right. Our village has been incredible. The first time I listened to this beautiful song by Cam, Village, it made me think of this first awful night when I came home from the hospital.
Cause your whole heart’s a village
Everyone you love has built it
And I’ve been working there myself
And that’s where I’ll be
With a front-row seat
To watch you live your life well
Reginald and Edward, know this. Your daddy always took the time for you, for me, for his family and friends. He was a hard worker, a positive, kind, and respectful gentleman. He made everyone around him want to be a better person. Some day, with the memories you have and the memories your village will share, you too will be like your him. I have no doubt about this.
I wish so badly we could protect you from the grief you will experience as you grow into young men. Always remember you are so, so loved. Daddy is proud of you and is always with us.
I am thankful. Thankful for your little personalities that bring a smile to my face every day and keep me moving forward. You remind me of the love your daddy and I had for one another.
Edward, you will always remember your daddy and the time he took to be with you. I have written down the memories you share with me that are your own so that you will never forget. Your memory never ceases to amaze me.
Reginald, you will always have your daddy in your heart. Your relationship will be unique and you will know him. Lately, I feel his presence more. I know you do too.
Reginald, you felt his presence on the night of your first birthday. I was feeding you a bottle at bedtime in your room when the dog pushed the door open. You sat up mid bottle, as you do. Then you pointed to the hall, where pictures of Daddy and us hang. You smiled and said “Da”. You then looked at me, smiled, and pointed to the picture behind the rocker and said “Da. Da!” Again, you smiled. You pointed to the poster above Edward’s bed with a family photo on it and said “Da.”
Without a doubt, I know Daddy is with you in a way none of us will ever understand. I feel it, I see it. I believe it.
Time keeps moving forward. We keep going through the firsts in life without Adam. There will always be firsts without Daddy, and the simple everyday moments without him. Then there will be the second, third, and fourth times we celebrate a holiday or birthday without Daddy. Some of these milestones will sting more than others, and some might not be as bad as we anticipate. Daddy will always be with us though.
Like we say every night as part of our bedtime prayer.
“Good Night, Daddy.
We love you Daddy.
We miss you Daddy.
You’re in our hearts.
We will keep moving forward in life, remembering and honoring you Adam. You made me a better person when we said “I do.” You’ll always be in our hearts.
Cause your whole heart’s a village. Everyone you love has built it . . .