Ten years ago my wife gave birth to my little girl. The labor had been long and uncomfortable for my wife and ended in a C-Section ultimately. I was in the operating room holding stroking my wife’s hair and speaking words of encouragement. We didn’t know what we were having and the anticipation was killing us. I’ll admit I hid behind the little fabric surgery screen by my wife’s head, not wanting to see her cut open and when they pulled her out and asked if I wanted to cut the umbilcol chord I said no and maintained my position. I absolutely did not want to be finting in the OR and have the first moment’s of my daughter’s life sullied by the bad cliche that is her father.
I was completely unprepared for how much I loved that little girl. The C-Section and a couple of complications kept my wife pretty inactive for the first week or so. Consequently I spent a lot of time with my little Hailey bug, reading to her in the morning (Dragons of Autumn Twilight (April 1984), Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman) and strapping her to my chest and walking to the corner store for eggs and turkey bacon. She was my princess.
We had her for less than a month when she passed away suddenly. She was there one day and gone the next. I don’t want to go into the details now and I’ll share some of that later, but she was taken away from us far too quickly. She was my light and I miss her still.
I often think about what she would be like if she were still alive. She would be heading into fifth grade this next year. God…fifth…grade. I imagine her being very girly but with a strong streek of geek in her. She would probably be driven insane by her younger brothers, but would defend them mercilessly outside of our home. She would be a shopaholic like her mother and have the boys coming around all the time. I would own a shotgun…a big scary looking one…kept in a locked glass case near the front door so all of the potential suitors could see it. I imagine her sitting on the couch snuggled up next to me watching Star Wars, covered up by a blanket to stay warm despite it being the summer.
I miss her. Happy Birthday Hailey Thompson Swett. You still light up my life.