Track 69 – Good Life

Dad,
I just wanted you to know
That I remember the first time I felt the warmth of your hand.
Your touch blanketed me with love and protection.
Your fingers promised to never to let go.
They would always be there to help me up should I ever fall down.

Dad,
I just wanted you to know
That I remember the first time you told me that you loved me.
Your words echoed strong and true of a life full of hope and happiness.
They carried with them a promise.
I was and would always be yours.

Dad,
I just wanted you to know
That I remember the first time I heard you laugh.
Yours was a sound so pure. So true.
It filled me with the truth of a life filled with joy.
Your laughter was a song that I wanted sung for the rest of my life.

Dad,
I just wanted you to know
That I remember the first time I heard you cry.
The first time you had thought you lost me.
You tried hard to conceal the pain.
But I felt it through every muffled sob you wept.

Dad,
I just wanted you to know,
That I have never left.
I felt your touch, heard your words and know your love.
There was never a ‘memory of’
Only the promise of what will be.

Dad,
I just wanted you to know,
It’s going to be a good life…

When Siaya was born eight years ago, I decided that I didn’t want another child. The world was too cruel and unsafe. I didn’t want to force another person into her cold hands. So, instead of giving my little sweet-pea a sibling, I promised to take on the role as father and friend. I would be my child’s playmate as she grew. This sounded good in theory; however, in reality, I fell a little short. As silly and immature as I was, I just wasn’t the playfellow that Siaya needed. I guess I couldn’t fully divorce myself from my role as her father. It became apparent to me that my daughter needed someone else.

Unfortunately, it took a few years for me to realize this. By that time, Rachel had decided it was too late to have a second child. Too many years had passed since having Siaya, and she didn’t want to go through the birthing process again. It seemed as though, despite Siaya’s many wishes, she was out of luck. It killed me to see our daughter so lonely; nevertheless I had made a choice a few years before and for better or worse we had to live with it.

Or so we thought.

About a year and a half ago as I got ready for bed, I was captured by a small piece of plastic that rested lightly on the base of my toothbrush. Two blue eyes stared back at me from the urine soaked test (I got a new toothbrush.) and I quite literally lost my breath. As I stumbled out into the living room, Rachel silently gazed into my eyes. I know now that she was looking for a sign of delight; she needed to know that this unexpected surprise wasn’t also unwanted. She needed to know that I was happy.

I, unfortunately, didn’t give her the reaction she was hoping for. Despite the butterflies that danced wildly in my belly, I tried hard to conceal my enthusiasm. I was afraid that this was something that Rachel didn’t want. I couldn’t get my hopes up. Not yet. So, for a brief moment, both of us sat in silence and waited for the other to start a much needed conversation.

Somehow we eventually migrated back into the bedroom. Whilst lying under our protective quilt we discovered through hugs, tears and a bit of laughter that our hearts, as usual, were in unison. Beneath our shock, apprehension and fear laid excitement, happiness, and hope. It took a little time for us to get the words out, but in the end we did. We were happy!
.
Or so we thought.

The news of Rachel’s miscarriage couldn’t have come at a worse time. Siaya and I were visiting her grandparents in Canada, while Rachel stayed in Taiwan to enjoy Chinese New Year with her sister. (She was and still is living in Austria). My heart cracked that night as she told me of our loss. I was alone, helpless and a world away from where I needed to be. I knew that my pain was only a shaving of the anguish that was eating away at my wife. All I could do was to pass words of comfort over the phone and do my best to convince her that things would be ok. Unable to deal with the pain, I tucked my feelings away and did my best to move on. This. Hurt.

Eventually, however, things got better. Our holiday ended, we returned home and Rachel and I did our best to soothe each other. We decided that the pregnancy was not a mistake and tried again. The doctors assured us that the miscarriage was something that just happens. We would have more luck the next time around.

They were wrong.

The second miscarriage was much worse than the first in every way. Our spirits were still broken and Rachel was not fully healed. This time, Siaya was also in the know and we had to deal not only with our own feelings of frustration and sadness but also with the confusion and heartbreak of a seven year old girl. This. Was. Hell. (See track 17 From Father to Son).

But it passed. The pain subsided and the scars started to fade. We took our time and months later, after countless conversations and debates we decided to have one last go at the prize. I am glad we did. We are three months into our third pregnancy and all is well. The doctor’s have said that this child promises to have a good life. Fingers crossed – s/he will.

Good Life, by One Repulic, brings me back to Canada. To the night Rachel passed on the news of our loss. Every time I hear the words, I am brought back to the pain I felt that night. Now, with the blessing of our loved ones, I hope that the chorus will begin to echo the memories of something much better.

…in hopes of what will be…

Good Life youtube link

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