Friday, June 24, 2011

A Letter to Ciara

Today is my niece Ciara's birthday. Had she lived, she would be 1.

I vividly remember spending Easter Sunday in her room. This was two days before she died. While staring into her eyes and holding her hands, I kept whispering to her,
"I'm right here".

She was sick and battling so I don't know if she heard me or felt me. But I felt her and connected with her.

I find solace in reading "A Letter to Ciara" written by my brother in law to his daughter.

In reading this letter for him during Ciara's Eulogy, the below part is what I most struggled with:

"Throughout the high and lows I want you to know you were never alone.
We did everything good and bad together as a family with God guiding us along the way.
As I continue on in the race I want to thank you for teaching me to enjoy the simple things in life."
- excerpt from a Letter to Ciara (MV)

Thank you Ciara for teaching me about the simple things. You changed my life. You inspire me. I'm still right here, just missing you.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Fathers Day Blues

Fathers Day is a day to celebrate Fatherhood (from a non Dad perspective).
However If you are a Dad, Fathers Day has a different lens.
Today we celebrate, embrace and reminisce about our children.

There are challenges of being a Dad (JohnnyO vs the Lawn Mower)
There are celebrations like D winning 3rd place in his karate competition.
There are milestones like playing golf with JP for the first time today.
We had a walk to the lake today, a bike ride in the neighborhood and a game of Jenga with my little 4 yr old smooka. Not a bad day pre fathers day.

But I realized something today. I am sad. I have been sad since Jan 1. That date was a mark to let my niece Ciara live into 2011. She made it, but not for long.

I miss Ciara. I miss my Dad. Losing my Dad when I was 17 really hurt, I can never explain that pain. Losing Ciara for me was different. I feel extreme sadness.

Ciara's Dad, my brother in law, has been an inspiration for me this past year. He is a living example of how a Dad loves his child, unconditionally.

Don't waste an opportunity. Savor the good times. Earn your stripes during the bad times. I know starting today my fatherhood matters more than ever.