Holidays are not the same when you've lost a child. There is an absence, an emptiness in your heart. There are certain days which are harder, obvious is your child's birthday and their angel date. However, the two holidays which celebrate being a parent, open the floodgates of memories too. So, on this Father's Day, I hold Tim extra close in my prayers.
There are certain men who I think are just born to be a Dad. I was blessed to find Tim, and I know my children were and are lucky to have him for their Dad. Him being a Dad, and the way he has cared for our boys, makes me love him even more.
Tim was so excited when I told him we were having a baby. I still remember like it was yesterday...although it was nearly 17 years ago.
I was watching my little sister, Raven, and for whatever reason decided to take the test with her there. A curious five year old and the science of a pregnancy test are not the best mixture though! She wanted to know why, and how, and what I was doing every step of the way.
I told her I was testing the toilet water. Moments later a big smile appeared on my face and tears filled my eyes. "What is it, Sissy?" she said, looking up to me. I told her it was good news and sent her to get her Uncle Timmy.
Tim says that she came running, blond ponytail flapping behind her, shouting excitedly, "Uncle Timmy, Uncle Timmy, your toilet water is clean!" And from that moment, our lives changed forever.
Tim was with me every step through the pregnancy. He talked to the baby several times a day, his head gently resting on my belly. And when they placed that new baby, our little boy, in his arms, Tim's heart was forever connected to Austin. True to life, Austin grabbed Tim's little finger. I knew in that snapshot of time that Austin would never want or need for anything, that his Dad would go above and beyond for him every day of his life.
And he did. Tim was there for Austin on every occasion, every ballgame, big days and everyday. They were best friends and both taught each other how to live and love a little better.
Tim was there for Austin's first breath, never leaving his side, as he welcomed him into this world. And Tim was again by Austin's side, with his last breath, as Austin's Heavenly father welcomed him into his.