Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Bittersweetest of Father's Days

Today was both awesome and almost impossible.

Clara had a great day! She rode all over the hospital in her little pink car, looked out the windows from the top floor, watched the fish being fed at the aquarium, had goldfish crackers and Hershey's kisses for lunch and spent the afternoon on leave OUTSIDE OF THE HOSPITAL for the first time in 4 weeks. Natasha and I were so excited we couldn't decide what to do, finally settling on taking Clara to my cousin Nicole's house for a few hours. Nicole and her girls have been to the hospital to visit Clara a number of times and Clara loves little girls (sorry, 15 yr old Elyse! In Clara's eye's your still a little girl, kinda). We could only stay for a few hours, but Clara was in heaven and wore herself out. To Nicole, Cody and kids THANK YOU, from the bottom of our hearts.

Clara was not happy to learn we were going back to the hospital. As I pulled into the parking garage, she repeated, "no, daddy." Natasha had to console her in the suite by rocking her and singing to her, as she did not want to get back into her hospital bed.

Finally, when it came time for me to return home, that little girl broke my heart. As I told her that I needed to go, she stuck out her bottom lip, and tried to hold back the tears - she did a better job than I. She wouldn't look at me and I could tell she was both confused and hurt. As sad and difficult as it was to leave, moments like that make fatherhood divine. The same scene will be repeated dozens of times over the next year, and I hope the familiarity of the experience does not dull the emotion of parting.

To all fathers, keep it up! I love this job.

19 comments:

Alicia said...

That is so sweet! I bet Clara was so happy to be out of the hospital. I hope there are more days like this!

Brittany said...

I've been trying to respond to this post for 5 full minutes, unsure of what to say. Very touching -- I can see it being played out. These are lessons for eternity. Thanks for sharing them. Keep it up, you are in our every prayer.

Alicia said...

He'll never forgive me for saying this, but Bill almost couldn't get through this reading it out loud to me. He doesn't often get emotional over things, but this struck a fatherly nerve. Clara's reaction to you leaving is a testament to the great father that you are. I guess that is one tiny bit of sweet amongst the bitter.

Jill said...

The "sweet" was four little ones looking for your return for the night.

Chelsea said...

Thanks for sharing Brian.

Paradise said...

Clara looks so happy, I love it. I am so glad you guys had a recess pass to leave the hospital. Hopefully there are more of those to come in the near future. I am sorry she was so sad to return to the hospital, I don't blame her. You are all so strong and amazing. Thanks for sharing.

Nicole said...

It was definitely our privilege to have you in our home yesterday. Even though, my kids are 2nd cousins to Clara and hadn't even met her until a month ago, they love her so much! Almost every single day in the last 4 weeks, at least one of my kids has asked if we could go to the hospital. In fact, on Friday, the last day of school, when I went to pick up Abby, instead of "it's summer vacation!" the very first thing she said to me was "can we go see Clara now?" Clara is the happiest little girl and has taught my kids so much, so thank you for sharing her with us! And even though Braden doesn't show it as much as the girls, he loves her too! He wears one of the wristbands with pride.

Brenda said...

What a special moment. Thanks for sharing it.

tharker said...

Bittersweet is definitely the perfect way to describe this post. So tender and so heartbreaking at the same time.

I'm so happy that she was able to get out for a bit and have such a great time with her cousins.

You and Natasha are doing an amazing job, Brian. Thank you so much for sharing this journey with all of us.

Shannon Lybbert Low said...

My love to you Tash and Brian!

Brian said...

It is such a blessing to have support from all of you. The other 4 were pretty excited last night to sleep in their own beds and get started with summer vacation, though this will be unlike any vacation they've ever had before.

luvdolls said...

Michael looks away from me too when he is upset about a choice I am making, such as leaving him with Kyle while I go to the store. I wish you could stay longer with your daughter Clara next time you visit. She really loves to be with you. I was a daddy's girl and my dad was my favorite person to be with. It must be so difficult for you to need to be away from her so you can take care of business at home. God bless you and Natasha for being so committed to your girl. I believe she is going to beat this cancer. I believe she will be healthy again, that all the treatments are going to work for her benefit. Reading your experiences brings tears to my eyes, if not completely running down my face every time. Thank you for sharing all you have. From, Krystal

Emily Ferrell said...

Great post Brian. I am glad Clara was able to get out of the hospital for a few hours but my heart breaks to read about your goodbyes. I pray for you constantly and hope that Clara gets rid of the cancer quickly.

Kristin said...

"Moments like that make fatherhood divine." This scene makes me wonder how our Father in Heaven must have felt when we had to leave His presence. I'm sure He too wept tears at the separation. Hold on to the anticipation of your reunion! It will truly be sweet! Clara is such an angel!

jessica said...

I'm technically a stranger...but a sister in the gospel. That sounded cheesier than I meant it. Anyway, I stumbled onto your blog and have spent the last hour reading it instead of doing my laundry. I just want you to know that I live 20 min from downtown Spokane. If I can be of any assistance in any way please contact me. I've lived here for nine years and I know a few people ;) So if you ever need anything...even just a visitor leave me a comment on my blog or find me on fb

You have officially become part of my prayers.

Semperfive21 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rosie said...

This post touched me. Brian you are an amazing Dad and Natasha you are wonderful Mom. Thank you for letting others get a glimpse into your life and your beautiful family. You guys are in my prayers.

Krista said...

We want you all to know that we pray for everyone who has touched Brian and Natasha's family in any way during this devastating trial. We pray that you will be blessed for your kindness and generosity, for your loving support and willingness to do what ever is necessary to lessen their burden, and we pray that you will be blessed for sharing your faith and prayers in Clara's behalf. We couldn't have imagined that there would be so many caring and thoughtful people in the world who would plead with our Heavenly Father for her renewed health. We ask that Heavenly Father will bless you for praying for her family who loves her so dearly. And thank you so much to those who don't even know this special little girl and her family, for your genuine concern and prayers. We are praying for each of you. You have all touched our lives so incredibly.

Brian and Natasha's parents

Carole said...

This darling little girl has touched so many hearts, and she is in the prayers of so many people. I know her Heavenly Father loves her and is very aware of her loving family. We have all grown to love her. Miracles do happen. Never, never give up.