My wife died right after giving birth to our child. When she was just in her first trimester, her doctor talked to us regarding her poor heart condition. I wanted her to get an abortion. It was not that my child does not matter; it is just that my wife was more important to me. I did not want to lose her. I can live my life without becoming a father, but I did not think I can live a life without my wife.
But my wife had made her decision. She talked to me that she wanted to save our child’s life. And it was her last will, and I could not go against it.
I Can’t Look At My Daughter, But I Don’t Hate Her
It was hard. I love my daughter, but every time I see her I am reminded of how I lost my loving wife. I asked my mom to help me take care of her for the moment.
I got myself together and focused on my work while my mom took care of our daughter while I was away. It’s been a year, but the pain has not lessened, as if it happened just yesterday.
I Admire Single Mothers
I am not blaming my daughter for what happened. But the fact that my wife sacrificed her life for our daughter is something that would not escape my thoughts. And it is a fact that gives me a guilty feeling, that I cannot equate that love she had for our daughter.
I am not that confident in raising our daughter. I witnessed the hardship of my friends and officemates who are single mothers. They can relate well whether they have a son or a daughter. There are many books, tutorials, and programs designed to guide single mothers, but not much on being a single father. It seems to be very different when you are a single father. That is why I have very high respect for single mothers who are able to raise their children well. I do not think I can be someone near that category. Susan Newman Ph.D. emphasizes that “Stay-at-home dads help to remove the stigma of a man’s inability to be a single parent and sole caregiver.”
There are many predicaments that come with being a single dad. What am I to do when she cries for milk? I cannot breastfeed her myself. I am glad I got my mother who is very supportive of us, especially when we have to go to the mall or restaurant and she needs to use the women’s washroom. It’s not possible for me to be in a woman’s restroom, and it’s more improper to bring her to the men’s room.
She’s Becoming More Like Her Mom
Times flies so fast, and my baby is now about to start preschool. I can see so much of her mom in her – the way she talks, her humor, her ideas, and how she loves and respects me despite my shortcomings. I know she is aware that I am a bit distant sometimes, but I can feel that she is trying so hard to stretch out her hand so I will reach it. She is a very loving, sweet, and humble girl like her mother. On the other hand, Naomi Ellemers Ph.D. reiterates the role of fathers, “Prior research on fatherhood has mainly documented how caring dads can benefit the well-being, career ambitions, and life choices of their children.”
Every day, as I bring and pick her up from school, passing by the grocery and have an ice cream from time to time, we have become closer. I have come to know my daughter more, and I am seeing more of her mom in her. She is everything I loved about her mom.
Looking at how she had grown from a distant, I realized that she had never given her grandma or me a hard time taking care of her. I have never seen her had a tantrum or do things that will upset us.
Every time she sees a child held by a mom, she would mumble, “I’m also blessed that I have a dad who holds my hand and a mom whom I hold in my heart all the time.” Krystine I. Batcho Ph.D. explains the importance of a father’s support for his child, “As Dad runs alongside, gripping the seat of his youngster’s bicycle, he gives his child the courage to race into the unknown with the knowledge that someone loves him enough to stay near and trusts him enough to let go.”
I feel so lucky having her as my daughter. That must be the reason why my wife chose to save her life, why she chose to give her the chance to see the beauty of life. My daughter may be the cause of my most painful sorrow, but she is also the source of my greatest joy.