How Do I Raise You, Wren?

Thank you Jessica McKelvie. I wouldn’t have had it in me to do these without you.

Dear Wren,

I am so sorry for what I am about to tell you, but your father died before you were born. I don’t know what I am doing so I am apologizing ahead of time.

You will never have a photo of him like the ones your sisters have above. I will not understand your pain but I will try very hard. I do know you will hurt so badly sometimes and I am so sorry for that. You are already so unique and you have not even been born yet. Your dad always said he loved you and he held you from the outside, but I know you did not actually experience this. I did.

He was there. He existed. I promise. That is you.

You will eventually come to know many girls who their father is not present in their life, you will relate on a surface level, but not a core level. Your dad wanted to be there for you. When we found out you were a girl, he was so very happy. He was so happy to have another girl.

I will keep you safe. I will feed you. I will make sure you have every material thing I can give you. I will make sure you have a schedule and you do well in school. I will make sure you play and join a fun activity.

However, when you are born, I don’t know if I will wrap you as tightly as he could. I will not be as warm as he was. I will love you and adore you, but not like he would.

When you are a bit older, I wont be able to throw you up in the air to the ceiling like he would. I won’t be as fun or creative as he was. I won’t put a pumpkin on my head when we are done carving it to make you laugh. I won’t be as easy-going as he was. I won’t allow you to sneak unhealthy snacks like he would.

It’s not that I will not try. It’s that the yang, to my yin is lost. If this was reversed, your dad would be scrambling to make your schedule. He would be scrambling to keep up on everything in the house and practical things would fall through the cracks. He wouldn’t wash your bedsheets once a month, if ever. That sounds extremely silly, but we both had our own duty or chore that was ours for years.

You will be able to learn how he was through your family, but it will never replace actually knowing him. Your dad never wanted you to know how cruel the world can be, but sadly you will know it the minute you take your first breath. He won’t be there to follow you around as the nurses wipe you off. He won’t touch your little feet and think you are so sweet when you suck your thumb. He won’t sleep on the uncomfortable couch in the hospital room exhausted, waiting for you to cry so he can wake up and hand you to me. He won’t be there to capture his favorite shot- the exact moment the doctor pulls you out, where you aren’t yet clean. We always made sure the second your siblings were born he took the shot. I hope whoever stays with me during surgery will get it for you.

He will not record a horrendous video of me in labor and be telling me to say “happy birthday Wren!” Or take photos of me during contractions. This always drove me nuts when he did this. But I honestly probably would have done the same. When I am driving to the hospital (odd to type, I never drove he did) he won’t slap my knee like we are just best buds on an adventure and say “are you ready babe!?” While I would stare at him blankly and shake my head telling him “no I am not. I am about to have major surgery you fool.”

He won’t be there to encourage me to get out of the hospital bed. After a c-section, you are able to lay in the bed for about a day but after that the nurses tell you that you must walk to begin healing. I hate this part because the first time I get up the burn from surgery feels like hot oil being thrown on my stomach. It is one of the worst physical pains. Your dad was the only one who could ever get me to do things I did not want to do. He was very gentle but firm. He would help me stand up even if it took an hour. The nurses will have me push you around the hallways to walk, and he will not be next to me or waiting for us in the room when we get back.

He will not be there after to wash my hair when I can finally shower or run out and get me whatever I want the minute I want it.

I know how he would act down to a T… but it will never replace him actually being here. It will never replace you never being to actually see him, no matter what you are told by well meaning people.

I hope you see him through your siblings. Chloe is very intelligent, just like him, and she will try to take short cuts in school. Oraia is very impulsive, just like him, and it makes her so funny. Raiden is caring, just like him, and he will make you feel so special.

I hope you see him through your aunt. She has fun, just like him, she will suck the helium out of your birthday balloons first and then speak to you in a squeaky voice- I will just throw them away. If you two play a game or dolls, you will think you are the only person who exist during it, just like he would make you feel. I hope you see him through your grandma, if she makes something for you she will be diligent and thorough, like a birthday cake or a painting, just like your dad would have been. I hope you see him through your grandpa, he is understanding and empathetic, just like him.

I know this won’t come close, but I don’t know what else to do for you. As your mom I will admit all of these things to you and validate all of your feelings, just like your dad would have done.

But none of us are your dad and I am so sorry.

I tried to get as many pictures of “you and him” as I could. It’s total shit. I am so so so sorry this is your reality. I am so sorry that you lost your father and whatever other chaos comes from it. That you will not know how things were before.

There are so many things I want to tell him about you already. He has been gone for about two months and I cannot tell him you are about four pounds. I cannot tell him your due date is scheduled to be March 18. I cannot show him how cute your clothes are or that I bought you the biggest bows. I cannot tell him I am so scared to go into the operating room without him. I panic even putting on the gown. I hope on that day I can calm down.

Of all the scenarios I have ever thought of in my head- I never thought of this one. I never thought of a little girl without her dad like this. I could not have changed anything anyhow, but I live in a nightmare. When you come out you will already be part of a nightmare that you will not comprehend for awhile.

Do I teach you to say Dada by pointing at his picture? Will that confuse you? Do I play videos of him and then take a video of you so his voice is near you? I don’t know and this causes me so much pain.

I will see and know the first time you coo. The first time you hold your head by yourself. The first time you clap. Roll over. Say a word. Have a tooth. Sit up. Fall from sitting up.

I will know how you sound. How you will look. I will know what funny words you mispronounce. Your dad and I would have used whatever those words may be back to you all the time. But now it will just be me.

In a weird way, your siblings are more involved with you now. Prior to this, Chloe and Raiden were apprehensive of you. They told me they were worried you would get all the attention. I told them they are correct for a little while, you will get most of the attention because you cannot move or feed yourself. This helped them understand.

This has changed. They have to go back to school and they were most worried about you. They said they needed to be here for you. They needed to help raise you when you got here. They sounded worried. It makes me proud of them that they are concerned with you and they all have plans to take care of you in their own way, but also very sad because they once just acted like kids and were just jealous of you.

Prior to any of this happening, your dad was worried about me. This is a high risk pregnancy. The doctors say I will likely be fine, but there is still a concern. Your dad was worried that something would happen to me during it. I was worried too.

But now I am worried for different reasons. I still worry about that, but I am more worried that if something happens to me- what will happen to you and your siblings? You will have no parents. I wish I could say “ah how unlikely.” But after this, these are very real possibilities in my head. Who do I trust you with? This one scares me the most. Where would you go? Who would honor our values best and not their own? I don’t know.

I am worried something will happen to you. Your dad and I lost two babies before, so naturally this is a worry. I wish I could say “ah, how unlikely.” But after this, it is again a very real possibility in my head. No amount of prayers or medical technology saved your dad. Any glimmer of faith I had in overcoming difficult events has vanished. Any chance at miracles does not exist anymore to me.

So with all of this and with every shred I also left out. I am not sure how to raise you. I will take it minute by minute. I will ask myself before I do something how would daddy have done this? But I am not your dad and I am so very sorry.

I love you. Love Mom.

3 thoughts on “How Do I Raise You, Wren?

  1. This is a Beautiful letter to Wren.!. 💕I know Jesse would have Loved your letter and your blog. He Will Always be your Guardian Angel Forever for you and your kids. It’s absolutely normal that you’re worried about everything you mentioned. But Please Always know that all your Family and Friends Will Always Be There For You❣️Just ask if you ever need help or just want to vent💕🙏❤️ Prayers For You 🙏

    Liked by 1 person

  2. To my niece, great-nieces and great-nephew,
    You will raise Wren with the love and help of your family. Oraia was right when she said, “Daddy is
    here!” I believe the spirit can touch us from heaven and leave an indelible mark upon our heart. I
    know this from my own pain and sufferings. Wren will thrive with her mother’s love and stories about
    her father along with her siblings: Chloe, Oraia, Raiden and Briley will help her to develop. Your
    mother and father have been by your side every step of the way and will continue to support your
    family with love and guidance. As for Auntie Flo, should you need a nanny to help out during transitional periods in your life, just ask and I shall be there. In Christ’s Love, Auntie Flo

    Liked by 2 people

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