I am handing over the blog today to my husband, but first I must say a few words... Watching my husband grieve over the past year has been heart breaking to say the least, but it has also many times given me the strength that I lacked. When we were hoping for Ethan's life and maintaining our bedside vigil - it was often my husband who kept the spirits up and kept me holding on - he refused to give in and quit fighting for Ethan until Ethan told us he was done fighting - only then did he allow himself to grieve. He encouraged me while Ethan was still with us to take over Ethan's physical care as much as possible, even when I just wanted to crawl into a corner and cry - and for that I am grateful. And after Ethan left us, I watched him tenderly wash Ethan's lifeless body and do for him the only thing that he could, after he had stood by so helplessly for two weeks, and then cradle the body of our lifeless son in his arms, rocking him with tears running down his cheeks. My husband has seen and experienced trauma and death all of his life - he was the only one by his father's side when he passed away, and has lost many family members due to the horrors of war. He told me after Ethan's death that loosing his son was worse then anything else that he has experienced in his life, and yet he remains strong. His grief is often a silent one, but there is strength in that. He spends more time at Ethan's grave site then I do, and he is allowing Ethan's strength of life to impact him and how he lives the rest of his days on earth. I am honored to have him as a husband and so very thankful that he is Ethan's Daddy.
From Ethan's Daddy: As a Father, today is a very important day for me, and also a sad day because Ethan is missing all the fun things that we get to do today as a family. If he were with us today, I would be crawling around on my hands and knees giving elephant back rides, teaching him how to kick a soccer ball, and he would be learning how to build a castle in the sand box. As I watch Simon and Reuben this morning playing in the sand box, I only wish Ethan was with us today as this would have been his first Father’s Day in which he would have been old enough to interact in the experience. As a family, we always do a lot of fun stuff on Father’s Day ranging from biking, playing soccer in the back yard, grilling, playing on the slip and slide, and going bug hunting in our local creek. When I woke up this morning, the first thought that went through my mind was “ I wish Ethan was with us here today”, he would have been over a year old, running around with Daddy, or playing hide and seek, and we would be playing a game from my African tradition “turlala” which my boys love. It is one of those fun silly games that just makes them giggle the whole time you play. Children need our unconditional love whether they succeed or make mistakes; when life is easy and when life is tough. On this day as a father, all I can do today is love the ones I have even more! But most of all I say to the son I lost to this world: I love you so much “Tiger”, and I miss you, Love, Daddy.