June 23, 2011

Pop, Meet Finley. . . . Finley, Pop

We have recently had lots of visits from family and will continue to for the next week or so. My dad arrived yesterday with the rest of my family trickling in over the next few days. Before arriving, he called and asked that we have a camera ready as he wanted to capture, in his words, "Finley's first kiss from Pop Nichols or Grandpa, or whatever I'm going to be called."

So, here we have it, Finley meeting my dad for the first time.


My dad is a very sweet and sensitive man. Even more so with age. When I left for West Point he wrote me a long letter to read on the plane. When Miles and I got married, he read us a letter at our rehearsal dinner. And when Cale died, he wrote the most beautiful letter - all of these filled with nothing but love and the most sincere emotions from his heart. Today, my dad had another sweet letter that he wanted to read to us, I thought it was too cute not to share.  (Kate, get your tissues) 

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My Dear Caroline -

Thoughts on meeting grandson Finley Daren Hidalgo for the first time. And thoughts on seeing my daughter Caroline for the first time since Finley's birth. 

I reflect back on the last 12 months which have been filled with overwhelming grief and some joy. No words can express the heartache of losing Baby Cale and Daren. Happiness has also occurred with the pregnancy of Finley, the safe return of Miles, and the birth of Finley. This time has given me time to reflect on my life and my children, on Caroline and Miles, and their loved ones - Cale, Finley and also Daren. I'm going to write about Love.

When Kate was still in her mother's womb I had doubts of my ability and capacity to share my love with a new child. My love for Rob was so complete that I was afraid that I would not be able to give as much love to Kate and that a portion of the love I had for Rob would be scarified for our new child. What I soon discovered was that my love expanded. My love for Rob continued to grow and my love for Kate was every bit as complete as it was for Rob.

And when my sweet Caroline arrived, my love expanded again. My love never diminished for my first and second child and when my third one was born - it just kept expanding. Caroline, I tell you this because you may have had feelings of concern or even tinges of guilty emotions of a fear that your love and remembrance of Cale would be diminished because of your love for Finley.

I can tell you with absolute certainty that due to our capacity as humans to have our love expand, Cale's memory will remain in your and Miles' hearts forever and the love you have for Cale will never diminish. That's what's so beautiful about the human heart.

I suspect that many time you've entered your room and stopped and touched Cale's urn. The tears flowed as you assured him and yourself that you will never forget him and that you'll love him forever. So, my dear Caroline, rest assured that the expanded love you now have for Finley will never diminish your love for Cale. And Cale's memory will never fade from his parents. Ever.

Also, Finley is the person he is because of Cale. Were it not for Cale, Finley would not be. Finley came into being at this time because of Cale.

I hope all this makes sense to you. Caroline you are a remarkable person. Your love for Miles, Cale, and Finley is obvious and clear. It is so very complete.

I am so very honored to be your Father. I'll love you forever.
-Dad
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11 comments:

  1. Sniff. Tears here too. Your dad is such a good man.

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  2. And, I'm a mess. Complete and total mess right now.

    Andrew gets daily kisses. There's just no way I could ever stop loving him. Ten more babies and I'd still love and miss him just the same. Your dad is so sweet and wise.

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  3. Amazing, thoughtful and such a wise man!
    I love the one of pops kissing the top of Finn's head...blessing his grandbaby!

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  4. Dear Caroline,

    Thank you for sharing.

    You have a very sweet Dad.

    Enjoy your visitors.

    Blessings to you and your family.

    Best,

    Coastal Blue Ocean

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  5. What a sweet, sweet letter! So glad Finley is getting some quality time with such an awesome Pop. :)

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  6. Caroline - WoW! Thank you for sharing! How insightful of your father. Now I see where you get it from! The only thing Pop forgot to mention was your love for Roscoe! ;-) ... But seriously, what an incredible letter. I am grateful to Cale == for he is the reason we met.

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  7. I love that Bob Nichols! Seriously, my eyes got teary just seeing the pictures and then reading the letter sent me over the edge. Isn't is amazing the type of relationships that we have with our Dads now that we are adults and they have somehow become even more sensitive and wise? Enjoy your time with your family!

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  8. For some reason your posts don't show in my reader so I have to come here when I remember to. :)

    How sweet is your dad? He put into words all that I wish other people would understand about what it means to have another baby on top of your love for the little guy who never got to grow up.

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  9. Ugh...Pop! Such sweet words.

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  10. And...I'm crying (and yes catching up on your blog tonight in case you can't tell by all the comments)! That is a wonderful letter - Your dad articulated that so beautifully, I hope it brought you comfort and strength.

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