Father’s Day

Today is the same as any other day in a lot of ways.  I wore orange.  The triplets woke up at 6am and eat sweet potatoes for dinner.  Jaden called me Mamacita Bun Buns all day.

The part that was different?  It was Father’s Day.  The first holiday without Owen.

I wonder if it effected Doug more than I.   Did he think about it as often as I did?  Or did he feel the same kind of hurt?  He couldn’t have.  He is Dad and I am Mom.  Fundamentally we are different in this.  But Owen is Son to us both.  So what parts are the same?  Does God know how we differ and does he approve of our differences?  I know it’s a silly question.

I can answer most of these questions as soon as I ask them.  But my head is filled with one question after another.  I find that is the way I talk with myself.  One questions leading to the next.  Like leaping from one cloud to the next.

Jaden made a recorded book for Doug for Father’s Day.  He was so proud of his gift and couldn’t wait to give it to him.  As Doug and Jaden sat together, pushing each button to listen to Jaden’s voice, I wondered how Owen would have answered the questions.  If he were 4, what would he have loved about Doug the most?  What would his voice have sounded like?  Just to hear his voice … mama, dadda, all done, I love you.  As I stand in the kitchen doing dishes, I picture Owen running behind me playing with his brothers.  When Jaden picks out his books for bedtime I wonder what book would Owen have picked?

Logan was rolling around one the floor last night in just his diaper.  Out of the corner of my eye he looked just like Owen when he was in the hospital.  Naked chest, white diaper, chubby legs.  I touched his knee half thinking it would be ice cold like Owen’s was from his cold blanket.  Took the wind right out of me. I couldn’t look at him anymore.  I had to put him in a onesie.

Reminders of our little warrior are becoming more frequent.  They hit fast and hard.  Sometimes taking the wind right out of my chest.  I take comfort in feeling my pain physically.  It’s not just being ‘down’ or crying.  I feel him through the pain in my chest and the shallowness of my breathes.  The feelings are as real and as physical as if I were still holding him in my arms.  I don’t want the physical to stop and to only have the memories and thoughts.

I imagine what this process is going to be like going forward.  What will this feel like in 10 years?  Next week?  I have a visual of this healing process sort of like cleaning out a dirty closet.  My healing closet.  Beginning with the moment I found Owen, through the hospital and even the funeral, I was taking my emotions and pain, looking at them, testing them out, then putting them in the closet.  Clearing my mind and spirit for the next emotion to come.  I put my fear in the closet so I could do CPR.  I put my questions in the closet so I could think clearly and cherish the moments I had left with Owen.  Nothing good would have become of wasting my last moments crying over the “whys”.  With all cleaning projects, you’ve got to make a bigger mess before it looks clean again.

All the clutter comes out of the closet, erupts all over the floor.  I picture myself sitting cross legged in the middle of a sea of clothes, shoes, books, belts, hats, odds & ends.  Then little by little, the items go back in, organized again.  First the big stuff.  The ones that can only fit in one spot.  My shirts are hung on the hanger and hung.  The shoes are paired together and placed in a line along the floor.  Then it gets a little tougher.  You’ve got the tid bits, odds and ends that you aren’t sure where they belong or where to put them.  The process slows down.  I usually loose my steam at this point.  That’s how I end up with a ‘junk drawer.’  I give up and throw the misfits into a drawer.

Do I get a junk drawer with this?  Is it fair to have one?  If I do, what kinds of things will go in my junk drawer?  Will I feel whole without those items in my closet?  I’m still sitting on the floor, surrounded by heaps of feelings, thoughts and questions that still need to find a place in my closet.

I still feel Owen in the lights.  We keep a nightlight on for the triplets.  Makes me feel like he’s still sleeping in his nursery.  Turning it on is my way of tucking him in at night.

I still have my night-time ritual.  I find comfort in patterns and rituals.  You know what to expect.  There is a sense of home.  My ritual is just not one that I would have chosen.  But I hold it close and cling to it.  My routine holds me up when I don’t know which way to turn.

Love, Mel


  1. I thought of your family today, of Owen. My oldest was away visiting with his dad but our twins 20 mo were celebrating with dad on the couch. I felt empty without my oldest there but I would see him tonight. I thought of how much your heart must ache as you look at your husband with his first fathers day with the triplets and Jaden. My heart breaks when I see the photo knowing everyone looks happy but inside you, he, the kids know Owen isn’t there. Knowing you wont see him tonight. All I could do was distract my mind because it brings tears to my eyes and it is crazy that i cry and think of a family i have never met but yet feel so so connected I don’t know how you make it through each day but i am sure it has everything to do with Gods strength and grace! I will continue to pray for you and your family. I will continue to think of you. Thank you for pouring your heart out to the world. Thank you keeping Owens light shining bright.
    Thinking of you this 1st holiday and many days to come.


  2. Mel,
    I am here, praying for you, reading your posts, and holding my babies more everyday. You wonder what God has planned for you, what you are supposed to do with all of this? You are typing, and waiting for direction… Do you not know that you are ministering to all of us, all over the world? That God has given you the wisdom to describe the grief of a mother, a family, a community? Do you not know that you are writing holy inspired words? You are witnessing, and we are all listening!

    I have not experienced death as you have, I still even have my parents, my friends, my siblings, and most of my grandparents. But I feel that you are showing me, teaching me how to deal with death, loss, and life in a way that reflects a true woman of God. Thank you, and KNOW that you are doing something, you are following in his path. I can tell, because I feel God all over me when I read your posts.

    Love you and praying for you,
    Sharon Jay
    Supermom to triplets.

  3. I think of you and your family often. I have my trio wear Orange for Owen when we go out…I cant even imagine what you and Doug are going thru and my heart breaks when I read your blogs…..I never met you but you and your family have reached my heart all the way in NY….God Bless your family and keep you strong….

  4. I thought a lot about you and doug yesterday. I remember my first Fathers Day after Ben passed. I tried to ‘keep it together’ and celebrate but it was hard. I ached horribly with a smile on my face. Wondering as I walked in public if people even knew I was a father with out his son. The last few years have been different. Not easier, just different. We go visit his tree or walk at the beach but it’s hard.

    As for tucking Owen in. We do the same. His sister waves and says bye to his picture every night and we wiskey good night to him everytime.

    I wish you the best as you learn what your new normal is.

    Many prayers


  5. I was thinking about you yesterday. Actually I think about you and your family every day. But particularly yesterday. You do what you have to do- to get from one moment to the next and no one but you knows what works best and it can change from second to second- so “throw” what you need to into the “junk drawer” because at some point, when you are ready, you will deal with it. Until then, the moment that you are in is what matters.

  6. I also think about you and your family often. I especially was thinking about you guys yesterday, and how the day would go. I cannot even imagine what you’re going through and I pray that I never will – but Sharon is right, yours and Owen’s story has encouraged moms and dads and grandmas and grandpas and aunts and uncles and anyone who loves a child to hold them tighter and cherish every second that they have with their loved ones. Every night when I put my 6 month down for bed I say the same prayer and we end with asking God to be with a few of our family friends who are suffering illness and the Bissings. Every time I shop for my son we always come home with something orange, and I have been on the look out for more orange for me and my husband too. Your words are powerful and yes you have the world listening to you, you are shouting from the rooftops Owen’s story with every blog entry – this is part of your cleaning process. I know that you will know what is the right way to honor Owen with his memorial fund. So many of us have given and will continue to give however we can because we so believe in the words and emotions you write – your boys are so lucky to have you, you have such a big heart and so much love to give. The groupon today in Las Vegas is Mixbook where you can make a photo or memory book. $15 for $50 worth of products. (shipping is $6 extra) maybe it would be a healing project to write the story of Warrior Owen for the boys, you and Doug. Here is the link. http://www.groupon.com/deals/mixbook-las-vegas-2?c=dnb&p=2
    I pray for you and your family everyday. I hear that it’s going to rain in WI today, listen for Owen to talk to you and he’ll help you find your way.

  7. It’s not a “junk drawer” momma, it’s a treasure chest. The odds and ends that you don’t need to use regularly but you can’t seem to get rid of. A collection of odds and ends that have their own individualized purpose not part of a collection. Keep your treasures. They may not be used everyday but when you need them the drawer is always a pull away.

  8. In a way, I feel like this blog is your “treasure chest”. A place to come back to when you feel like you can’t remember something or want to feel the physical pain. And also a place to see how far Owen has reached out and put a smile on your face! You know what’s funny… I was highlighting my hair the other day and messed it up so I put another color over it and it turned orange! I normally would have been so upset but I giggled thinking about it being owens color! I left it and ran some errands getting funny looks all over town. Hehe… I finally fixed it but settled on auburn instead of blonde! See.. He is still here. All around you. Physically gone but he is here in spirit!

  9. Mel,
    I also thought of you yesterday. My best friend and I recently discussed organization, and I thought her words on the subject might be helpful. She said that she puts all the odd things that she doesn’t know what to do with in a junk box and she leaves them alone for six months. Then, she says, she is not as emotionally attatched to them, and she can look at them with distance, and most of the time she finds she doesn’t need them and can throw them out. It may take more than six months before you can look with distance, but I hope you are able to “throw out” some of the distressing emotions and questions that will help you to get clear.
    Your friend,

  10. I like the visual you give of cleaning out the closet. I also like what the pp said about the drawer of treasures.

    Praying for you.

  11. Wow Mel, just wow. This post was literary brilliance from start to finish. While I won’t pretend to know what you’re going through, I will say this: KEEP WRITING. You wonder what thoughts and memories you’ll have 10 years from now, and while memories do generally fade in time, the raw emotion of your blog will be there forever. I could read this post 10 years from now and know precisely what your mindset was when you wrote it.

    You amaze me.



  12. Dear mel,
    We all love you to ! Thank you for sharing your story with us. The pics and videos make it like we have known you . God bless and keep you safe !

  13. We missed you last week…I know we are all still praying for you Doug and the boys. Your posts are beautiful…I love how you are able to say what you are feeling and not hiding in your “closet”…it will take time but I have faith that you will find some sort of peace in the future.
    Your blog has inspired so many…myself included.

    You know where to find us if you need anything
    Amy non-g

  14. All five of your boys are just PRECIOUS! And in no small part thanks to you! YOU have raised them well, and will continue to share your love and theirs with the world! Thank you for being YOU Mel! I continue to pray for you and I would be honored to share you story and continue to share it!

  15. I’m at a loss for words. Your post was beautiful…and so real. I can totally identify with your closet cleaning analogy. My mind works off analogies. We’re still reading and praying for your family. Even my boys all know who the “other family with 4 boys” is. I wear my “orange” hair with pride every day for little Owen. Owen’s story has reached West Richland, WA and will continue to spread from here. 🙂

  16. I stumbled across your post just after your little boy passed. I have been following along since then. I couldn’t relate to you as a mother of triplets or a mother of boys but I can relate to you now as a grieving parent. I appreciate that you can put into words what so many of us cannot. My little boy passed in 2000 so I am a few years “out” I guess you could say. The physical pain has passed, as have the startling moments of realizing he is really gone. What I am left with after these years are a deep gratitude to God that I was allowed the cherished time I had with my son and being able to think of my boy without the terrible sadness. The anniversary days are hard (birthdays and death day) as are the holidays…..even the happiest times are tinged with an edge of sadness. But I believe as the mother of an angel I owe it to him to live a happy life and meet him as a fulfilled person in Heaven when it’s my time. Good luck to you and your family

  17. You have such a gift for words, have you ever thought of writing a book? It’s really soon to be thinking about these things but keep writing and people will keep reading!!!! You’ve help me overcome my battle with miscarriages and that loss of child… it’s God’s will. You are so strong and an amazing mom. I can only hope that someday I will be a 1/4 of the Mom you are.
    a friend of a friend of a friend, WV

  18. I stumbled accross your blog by accident and have not been able to stop reading it for the past 2 hours. I am so very sorry for the loss of your beautiful baby boy. You have an amazing way with words, a truly talented writer. I know your son is watching over you, over all of us and I have no doubt that you are making him proud.

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