The Day My Dad Broke My Heart
I love my dad, he is my absolute hero and the measure to which I hold every man.
But he took my heart and tore it in two.
My parents had eight children and to me, observing as a child, it seemed to be something that they more or less took in their stride. Their seventh child arrived at home in the lounge room after an unexpectedly short labour and even that didn’t seem to ruffle too many feathers.
When I was pregnant with my first child my dad was great, he was as nervous as a long tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs but he was great.
I think that they rang every 5 min while I was in labour but they tried to let us do our own thing.
Mind you, for them, it was grandchild number four so they were seasoned pros!
When my second child was born it was whole different kettle of fish.
I had a difficult pregnancy and was not doing too well by the time she arrived early at 27 weeks’ gestation.
My parents were in Sydney with my younger brothers and came back as soon as they could.
It didn’t look good.
I remember very clearly taking my parents in to see her in the NICU. She was roughly the size of a pencil, my wedding ring went all the way up her arm and she had the appearance of a roughly skinned rabbit.
She was this tiny little scrap of a thing covered in tubes and wires, barely recognisable as human.
My dad just looked at her with tears streaming down his face. He just looked. He refused to touch her fearing that his huge rough hands would damage her transparent skin.
Then he asked me how I was doing, how she was doing.
Then he picked up my hand, looked into my eyes then broke my heart.
‘You know if she died, I would have to die too.’
I think I must have looked confused,
‘I would have to die too’ he said, ‘She won’t know anyone in heaven and I can’t bear the thought of her being alone’
Disregard the thought that I was facing losing my child the thought of losing my father was almost too much and of course, I fell to pieces.
My dad calmly sat me down and explained that he couldn’t live with the thought of her being alone and it was his job as her Grandad to take care of her till we could come as well.
It was probably the most devastating thing I had heard and heartbreakingly beautiful.
Thankfully my daughter pulled through after a long battle and is now thriving, I don’t know what would have really happened if it had gone the other way.
We have never talked about it since.
They say that your children will eventually break your heart but your parents might just get there first.