Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Rowan got sad, wrote a letter to mommy

When I got home from work a short time ago, I found the babysitter finishing up making dinner, which is normal, but Rowan was nowhere to be seen, which is not.

The sitter let me know that Rowan had seemed sad since she picked her up from school, and after asking for some snuggling and a story, had decided that she wanted to write (actually dictate) a letter to Aimee. Then Rowan shut herself in her room, which was where she still was when I got home. The sitter then handed me the letter she'd written out as Rowan had dictated it.

I went up to Rowan's room and after giving her a hug and talking with her for a minute about how we both missed mommy every day, she seemed to feel better and came downstairs. Then I read the letter while she was distracted by something else. The contents both made me laugh out loud and cry at the same time.

(Before I share the contents of the letter, I should tell you that Rowan loves McDonald's, but I won't take her there very often. I've explained that the food is very bad for you, and during our last visit there I joked of what Aimee would say if she saw me there with Rowan: "Hon! McDonald's, really?? Ugh! You can do better, can't you? Toad!" Rowan thought that was funny.)

Here's what Rowan wrote to Aimee:
Dear mom,
I wish you were here. I want you to see how big I have gotten. My dad has been a really good daddy and sometimes he doesn't let me go to McDonald's. I love you lots.

Man, I really love that kid. And I love that she's starting to see something deeper here - that at least part of my motivation in being as good a father as I possibly can rests in the knowledge that I feel an even more profound responsibility to Rowan's development and care because the 'better parent' was lost. That's not a knock on my own parenting, which is improved. It's just a recognition of the vast, immeasurable loss.


  1. Pat that is very touching.......It brought both a smile and a tear to my eye. That comment about McDonalds, then the toad comment, reminds me of her back in school. Little comments like that would make anyone smile.
    This I guess is Rowans' way of letting out some grief. I know you will comfort her thru every minute of it. At such a young age she is doing the best she knows how with it. My heart goes out to you both.

    1. Aimee's pet name for me, when I was playfully teasing her, was Toad. Rowan and I still laugh about it now.

  2. Pat,
    You dont' know me but we have a mutual friend Molly. My husband passed away a year ago of cancer he was still young and full of life, ( he made it to his 45th bday.) We have 5 children. 2 are living on their own and our 3 youngest 14,11 and 6.
    Molly told me about your loss and your blog last summer and suggested I look at it. I just wanted to thank you for your honesty with your feeling and hard times and yes, the good times too.
    Sometimes I would read and think "exactly my thought"
    Every time my feelings overwhelm me I remember that Russell is in heaven with his Father God and he is so incredibly happy being with his creator. It just makes me smile and gives my heart peace when I am having one of those days.
    Just wanted to let you know that your story, life and words are an encouragement to people you don't even know.
    You have played a part in my grieving process. Just wanted to thank you for that.

    1. Julie, thank you so much for your encouraging words. I'm so sorry you ever had a need for a blog like mine, though I am happy to hear that you know Russell is in heaven with our Father.

      When I started this blog, it was really about me. But it wasn't long before I realized how much it meant to others. Thank you once again for showing me one way that good came from the tragedy I have lived. God bless.


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