Monday, November 17, 2008

not the same...but trying

Jeff loved to build wooden toys for Liv. He built her a wooden doll pram. He had put so much thought into how to put it together and how to provide some traction for the wooden wheels (he used rubber boot bands from his fish boots). He built a wooden toy kitchen complete with an oven rack made of wood dowling.
They made a bird feeder together the week before he died. He always signed his work, "Love Daddy". He loved to putter in the garage with some project especially when he could see the joy it brought.
Last Christmas, Briar was a bit too young for a daddy wooden gift so I had made a few little wooden animals for him. Jeff had decided that this coming Christmas he'd build a wooden barn for the animals to live in.
Unfortunately, almost all the legs broke off the little herd I had created. Then Jeff died. Briar didn't get a wooden creation made by his daddy.

Liv cherishes the toys he made for her. Even the piece of bark into which he carved her name while sitting on the beach is coveted. I so wish that Briar had something to hold onto. Something that his father had made with his huge, rough and capable hands simply to see a happy little face light up with wonder and excitement.

I thought of trying to build one myself....but, dude, the legs fell off my animals and I am afraid I'd wreck this project that has now become so important to me. For Briar to have something that his daddy wanted him to have.

I decided to try to find one on Etsy. After searching for a surprisingly sort time, I found one. It's perfect. It is beautiful. It is built by another daddy. I unwrapped it from the box when it arrived on my doorstep smiling while bittersweet tears rolled down my face. In someway, I feel like it's okay. Jeff didn't build it. But someone else who loves his children did. I am hoping that some of that fatherly love went into building the barn. For me and for little Briar, it was so important.

I know that giving some of the things that Jeff had hoped for his children are beyond my control now. Some of these things, I need to let go. I will need to relinquish this feeling that I can make 'it' better. But for now, I am pleased that I may be able, at least, to try to give second best. Because it is the best I can do.
And in the meantime, this little barn, with so much meaning, will be so loved and be a reminder that a daddy loved his little boy oh-so-much.


leigh in the sav said...

the barn is beautiful. but the sentiment and intent behind it is even more so.

what a sweet gift for your sweet boy.

Anonymous said...

Same... with ya gurl.. Baby Evan, heartbreaking. Sorry I wish I had something more to say.. but that I am with ya.


Lisa said...

You are such a good mommy!!!
You truly should be very proud of yourself.


ella said...

this is beautiful. the post i mean. the barn is too (i recently stumbled up on his etsy sop) but what love gifted to your littles. shucks.

sarah said...

hi there the barn is lovely i have just come across your blog thankyou for sharing with us your story its really moving and for being so honest i wish you and your family much love

hippymummy said...


Anonymous said...

Hi Jackie,
You are a sweet mother to your children. The barn is lovely.
Much love,

potty mouth mama said...

That kitchen is magnificent - wow.

Such a beautiful love filled post. The barn is wonderful. I bet your little man will love it - and the accompanying sentiment.

darcie said...

It's a beautiful barn!! But I have to agree with my creepy counterpart Leigh - the intent and sentiment is the most beautiful part. Much love Jackie -
xoxo - darcie

Chris said...

what a glorious gift.

i hope you are finally feeling better and got some answers from the doctors.

continued love and support from MN!