Father's Day

by The Jester

Copyright┬ę 2008 by The Jester

Drama Story: The idea behind this story was to write the saddest story I could possibly write. This story was originally written in 1999 and recently reworked in some spots. The distinctive writing style is because someday I wish to film this as one man short film.

Tags: Tear Jerker  


(This is a work of fiction)

"If I could save time in a bottle,

the first thing that I'd like to do

is to save everyday till eternity passes

away, just to spend them with you.

If I could make days last forever

if words could make wishes come true

I'd save everyday like a treasure, and then,

Again I would spend them with you."

-Jim Croce

Scene: Man walking through a graveyard. Carrying a folding chair in his one hand, and flowers in the other. He finds the spot he is looking for, puts the flowers down on a stone and sets the chair off the side and sits down.

Close in on man sitting in chair. He is dressed moderately, nice, but no suit. He is young, but his appearance is that of a much older man. Life has had its way with him from appearance.

He begins to speak in a soft tone to the tombstone.

Hey. Today is the five-year anniversary of your passing. So I figured that I should finally come down here and visit you.

God, I still remember the day that you were born. It was the best day and the worst day of my entire life. You pushed your way into this beautiful world and, for some unknown reason, your mother passed away 10 minutes after you were born. Her heart ruptured.

(Pregnant pause) I guess the strain caused it to burst, I dunno. They never did have any answers for that question. So I had you there (rocking imaginary baby) looking up at me, and your mother being carted away on a gurney to some horrible place that I still can't even think to imagine. (Run hand through hair.) I named you Sarah Michelle. You were so beautiful there in my arms. You were so small. You looked up at me that first time and opened your eyes and I was mesmerized. I was crying over your mother and the nurse put you in my arms. I was watching her roll down the hallway and I was holding you here, so beautiful, so soft, and so innocent.

(Sniffling) My tears must have stung your face that day because you opened your blue eyes and gave me this look. Like your soul was telling me that everything was going to be all right. That I should stop crying because here you were, needing me, wanting me, loving me. So I turned away from the wheels slowly turning and walked back into the room where you were born.

The nurses took some pictures of us together. You looked just like your mother, spitting image, I stood there thinking that I would have the rest of my life to raise you, and

that I would be looking at your mother the whole time. I was worried that I would never be able to get over it, that I would resent you because you looked just like her.

The Doctor told me that they should keep you for a day or so, just to make sure that everything was ok. So I went home that night and had to call my mother-in-law and tell her that she had a beautiful granddaughter and that her own daughter had passed away. I'm not sure if I have cried any harder in my life than I did on that day.

Then I had to call my own parents and tell them what had happened. My eyes, still soft with tears from the last phone call, were faucets of salty sorrow as the words tried to find their way off of my tongue.

I came back to the hospital that night to spend some time with you. Both sets of your grandparents were on their way to see us. I wanted to be so strong for you. I wanted to shelter you from the pain that you didn't even know yet. I fed you for the first time that night. Gently in my arms, you looked at me as the bottle found your lips and you softly suckled at it intently. Such a beauty, your mother would have been proud of you.

My parents were the first to arrive there that night. Just after you had fallen asleep in my arms for the first time. I couldn't help it, but when I saw them, the tears began to flow again. So many tears. So many times I wiped my face to shield yours from getting wet.

My mother grabbed you out of my arms, waking you up, and cradled you so close to her heart (I think that she wanted to be your mother). My father just kind of let out a long sigh, looked at me and we embraced as only a father and son can embrace. Holding the weight of the family in our arms, together. We stayed there as if time had stopped for just a moment and it was an eternity.

I turned around and looked back at my mother who was standing in the room with you in her arms, smiling and crying, so full of emotion. No one said a word for the first 5 minutes that we were in the room. We just let the riptide of emotion that we were feeling surround us. Drawing us closer, as only a family can be drawn.

Just as the words, "What are you gonna do?" came out of my mother's mouth, your mother's parents showed up. This did wonders for the emotion that had just begun to die down. They were both crying before they even came in the room, and if I had had any notion of stopping crying, that was now thrown out the window.

I hugged them both in the doorway to the room. I didn't even know what to say to them. What do you say to parents who have just lost their only child? What do you say to them when they look into their granddaughter's eyes and see their own daughter who they will never even talk to again? We all just sort of took up space for the next hour or so. Passing you around to one another. Comfortable in our acceptance of the silence that was the room.

I think that we were all afraid to talk about what had happened in front of you. It was all so unfair. But who were we to determine what was fair and what wasn't. That is God's job, so we just occupied the space in time together, alone with our thoughts.

Before we knew it our time was done and we were all outside of the hospital. Looking at each other, waiting for someone to break the silence that we had all grown so comfortable occupying. So finally your mother's father said to me that you were beautiful and congratulated me belatedly (it was an awkward moment for me).

Then, my mother repeated what she had started saying in the room. "What are you going to do now?" I had no idea. Within the period of 15 minutes, my life was turned upside down. I hadn't even accepted that I would never feel your mother next to me in the bed again. How could I have any idea what I was going to do? I was going to be bringing you home tomorrow and I was alone.

"I don't know mom. What am I gonna do?" And with that we all accepted the silence again. Everyone knew that I was not going to be able to raise a daughter and work and make it work alone, not without help. Hell, we still had to plan your mother's funeral, how could any of us have known what the next 2 weeks, let alone the rest my life would hold.

My father, sensing my growing mental burden, calmly said, "Look, we have a couple of days to figure things out. When the baby comes home, you'll still have 10 days of your vacation left to take. We'll help you out and we'll form a game plan when we are better prepared to make one." And with that, everyone just nodded and planned to meet at our house after I brought you home.

Let me tell you. The house was so empty without your mother that night. If you take a person who you couldn't imagine living without and then have to live without them, I don't think that there is any greater hell in the world than that.

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