My Plea:

I don’t know what to put here so decided instead to post the nomination made by my daughter that allowed me to be here in the first place.

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I would like to nominate my dad for this award to say thank you. I know it’ll never be enough to explain how thankful I am but this is the closest thing there is on Earth to show my gratitude.

Dear Dad,

Thank you for finding superhuman strength and making the phone calls I couldn’t when I came home from the hospital clutching a piece of paper in my hand unable to speak the words written on it – that my son, your grandson, wouldn’t ever come home from the hospital alive.

Thank you for being by my side when we returned to the hospital to confirm his diagnosis and for holding my hand, promising me we’d get through it.

Thank you for sitting my two then-four-year-old daughters down and mustering the courage to explain to them that their baby brother was poorly and wouldn’t be coming home.

Thank you for staying up for almost 72 hours on a wooden chair in the room next door to mine when I was in labour, to be there ‘just in case’ I needed you at all.

Thank you for coming into the room just minutes after our little boy was born, to take pictures , to guide us and support us.

Thank you for making me laugh at a time I saw it impossible to even smile.

Thank you for holding your grandson and gazing at him with the same love and admiration and devotion as you did my living daughters.

Thank you for making the phone call to the funeral director to inform them of our little boy’s passing and his pending arrival.

Thank you for wiping every last tear off my face.

Thank you for wiping the blood seeping from my baby’s nose and the fluid seeping from his blisters because it scared me.

Thank you for taking pictures and being by my side as I changed my darling son into the one and only outfit I would ever have the chance to dress him in – his burial gown.

Thank you for being by our side when Otis was picked up by the funeral director and for carrying him down from the bereavement suite to the funeral car because we couldn’t find the strength to.

Thank you for standing by my side and holding me when we went to the funeral home to see our baby boy for the very last time, and equally for leaving the room and giving me space when I needed it, to say goodbye.

Thank you for sitting by our side as we planned our little boy’s only celebration of life – not a christening, not a birthday, but a funeral.

Thank you for promising me that ‘nothing is too much’, not to worry about money and to give my son the send off I wanted and he deserved.

Thank you for the words you said to his dad just before we left the house to the church on the day of his funeral: “I will carry his coffin if you can’t, just turn around and I’ll be right behind you.”

Thank you for putting your back out through physically holding me up when my legs gave way and could no longer support me as my son was being lowered into the ground in his tiny blue coffin.

Thank you for taking unpaid leave from work to make sure I was fed and looked after.

Thank you for speaking to my girls about their brother like he’s here.

Thank you for showing them pictures and answering their questions when I feel I can’t.

Thank you for being you.

You are my hero.

Thank you for being the most loving, supportive, most forgiving human walking this planet.

Thank you for not laughing at my ideas and not only supporting them but BELIEVING in them too.

Thank you for helping me keep my little boy’s legacy alive – I wish I could put into words how much it means.

Thank you for not expecting too much of me on the days I’m finding it particularly difficult …

And for understanding that ‘difficult days’ don’t always come when you expect it and can hit like a ton of bricks on the days you would think are the most gentle.

Thank you for understanding that grief comes in waves and, sometimes, being alone is the best medicine, even if being alone lasts weeks at a time.

Thank you for not forgetting. Thank you for the promise to love and cherish my son for as long as you live.

I love you dad, we all do.

Natalie, Cora, Maisie and Otis.

xx

What Other’s Have Said

“Thank you for finding superhuman strength and making those phone calls I couldn’t the day I came home clutching a piece of paper in my hand unable to speak the words written on it – that my son, your grandson, wouldn’t ever come home from the hospital alive. Thank you for being by our side when we went to the hospital to confirm his diagnosis and for holding my hand and promising me we would get through it. Thank you for sitting my two then-four-year-old daughters down and mustering the courage to explain to them that their baby brother was poorly and wouldn’t be coming home.”