To you the love of my life, guardian of my being and the best friend and husband I could never have even dreamed asking God for, to this list I must now add proud and wonderful father.
Kris, I am pregnant with our child.
Of all the ways I had always imagined telling you this, writing it in a letter was never one of them. My joy, which should be ours to share, is overshadowed by how much I miss you and the black hole that your absence brings has voided all happiness in my life. But I know that seeing your face reflected through this child’s will make me smile again. My comfort is that as our baby grows inside me so will our love since now you will continue to live on. I admit, I have always been a bit critical of the phrase, “making love” because our love never had to be made. It was always as present and alive as the sea itself, but I think I understand it now because together we have made a new love in our lives. I know you always wanted a girl but I’m still holding out for a boy. I’ll make you a deal. If our baby is a boy you can name him, and if it’s a girl I’ll name her that way we both can get our way even if we don’t. But no middle name of Viper Sox! You can honour your dog’s memory somewhere else other than our child. Remember how we used to joke about naming our children ridiculous things so that we’d get our own reality T.V. show? You’d make me laugh so hard and even now I’m laughing to the point of tears at the ideas you’d spin.
Oh Kris, I miss you like only you could imagine. You once told me that if the moon were a thing to give you would give it to me. I have treasured that promise like the ring I wear on my finger. Passing that promise along is the best thing I could give to our child from you: the moon. I pray to God daily that He gives you the opportunity to watch our baby grow and become just like his father; there would be no failure in that. Perhaps God has anointed our baby to become an astronaut so that you will see the fulfillment of what you could only wish to capture and give away.
I need to finish this letter quickly because I am on the verge of tears and my soul is bleeding with such turmoil that I can barely hold this pen. This was supposed to stay a happy letter for this happy announcement. I pray that the Holy Spirit reads you this letter if you cannot hear me talk to myself- you always did think that was cute didn’t you? I will raise our child to understand why you did what you did and how you took the risk to save those people. Even in your death your life will teach our baby the love of God. That is perhaps one of the greatest gifts a father can teach their children. Right before the moon.
I love you Kris. Words long ago ceased to be enough to express that. I, no, we will never allow your sacrifice to become forgotten.
Felicia protectively held onto the plain white envelope knowing that to part with it meant another nail would be hammered into the coffin of her dark, dark reality. She had been standing before Kris’s closed casket for far too long already and she could feel the warmth of her mother’s steady hands wrapping around her shoulders to encourage her to move on. But just like the letter, walking away from the casket would be another nail for her and she had no idea where she could find the courage to face all these nails as they closed the lid down on her tighter and tighter.
With a light pull on her shoulders Felicia’s hand found a will of its own and raised itself and the letter it held to the lid of the casket and gently laid its charge on top of the glossy wood. Instinctively her other hand reached for her womb not even yet protruding and the soggy paper towel walls of her strength fell down and she began to weep again.
“I love him Mom.” She slurred her profession through her cracked voice and raw eyes as her mother guided a numb Felicia away from her husband.
“I know honey, I know.” Her mother helped her back to their seats where Felicia crumbled onto her father’s waiting shoulder.
“Felicia.” Her mother lovingly spoke squeezing her daughter’s hand. “I didn’t know when I should give this to you but I can’t hold it back for caution any longer. Kris had given this to his sister for safekeeping. It’s his last gift to you. I suspect you’ll know what it means.” Her mother pressed a small velvet bag into Felicia’s hand which instantly grasped it tight and she brought it to her lips and kissed it dearly.
Slowly, once her tears had cleared away, Felicia reached her fingers into the bag and brought out its contents. As soon as she saw what it was she lost anything of the composure she had just gained and wept without end in the arms of her father kissing between breaths Kris’s gift clutched tightly in her fist.
It was a silver moon keychain. He had found a way to give it to her after all.