As we get closer and closer to Jonah making his first appearance in the world (less than four weeks, people!), I am trying very, very hard to get everything crossed off my to-do list. I am tying up loose ends at work, trying to get our apartment and Jonah’s nursery in order, and writing Thank You cards like there’s no tomorrow.
When David and I got married, we made careful lists of all the gifts we’d been given at showers, vowing to write Thank You cards tomorrow, or next week, or over the weekend. We wanted to get them done before we got married, but life happened, and the lists sat untouched. The day after our wedding, my sister Tori had to go to the hospital due to complications with her pregnancy.
I’m not really sure why, but somewhere along the way, I connected getting those Thank You cards written with Tori’s progress in the hospital. If Harrison can stay in there just a little longer, I can get these cards written. She’s laying uncomfortably in a hospital bed for weeks on end, I can write a few words of gratefulness for those dishes and those super soft sheets.
Unfortunately, after several weeks, Harrison arrived far too soon. He lived for eighteen days, and the day I got the call that he’d gone on to Heaven is, to this day, the saddest day of my life.
So, with that, a mental block formed. I couldn’t face the Thank You cards. It seemed ridiculous to come up with generic words thanking someone for a very special gift that we’d probably thanked them for in person, anyway, when so many people were grieving over the loss of such a precious little baby.
It might seem silly, and it might seem like a poor excuse, but those Thank You cards never got written. Somewhere in the back of my mind, for almost four years now, I have felt incredibly guilty about that. I have worried that people thought we were rude or never received their gift or just didn’t care. We really are grateful, though. It was just too hard.
All that to say, I really wanted to make sure we got our Thank You cards done this time. It has been so important to me to make sure I get these written, sent out, and that people know that we are, in fact, so grateful for their love and support and gifts.
While I’ve been working on these cards (we’ll have seven showers total, so it’s been a super-ongoing thing), though, I have failed to thank the one person who has been there for me through it all. So, without further ado (after the longest introduction for a blog post known to mankind), here is my most important Thank You card:
Thank you so much for your sympathy and encouragement and excitement as we prepare for Jonah’s arrival. Thank you for checking on me in the first trimester when I basically lived in front of the toilet for a few days. Thank you for making sure we always had saltines and Sprite when that was all I could choke down. Thank you for going to the Chinese restaurant three times in one week to get me shrimp fried rice, even risking embarrassment when the cashier recognized you and said you’d been there too many times.
Thank you for being okay with co-ed baby showers, sitting next to me and getting so excited about all the toys and sweet clothes and being a good sport when I throw tissue paper at your head.
Thank you for the biggest smile I’ve ever seen when you got to feel Jonah kick for the first time.
Thank you for your dedication to school. I know it’s been a tough first year, but you are doing so well, and Jonah and I are so proud of you. Thank you for asking me to help you study but being okay with it when I’m too tired. Thank you for listening to God’s call on your life and bringing our family to Birmingham, even though I was so scared to go. Thank you for encouraging me as I waited for a job offer. Thank you for the awesome friends you made that are now my friends, too.
Thank you for cooking dinner (even though this has always been your job since I am a failure in the kitchen), and thank you for washing dishes on those nights when I just wasn’t up to it. Thank you for being okay with leaving dirty dishes in the sink on occasion because our time as just the two of us is fleeting and it’s not the worst thing in the world to choose Netflix over chores.
Thank you for always asking me what I’m in the mood for because who knows what random pregnancy craving I’ll have next! Thank you for sharing your own weird pregnancy-sympathy cravings, even though I’ll never understand them (chicken fingers and tacos is just weird, David).
Thank you for letting us go to the beach for our Babymoon, even though it rained almost the entire time. Thank you for walking with me on the beach when we had a few moments of clear skies and eating lots of seafood with me.
Thank you for helping organize all of Jonah’s things and reading his new books together with me. Thank you for being so excited to read them to Jonah someday. Thank you for your big dreams for what our family will be like when we become a family of three.
Thank you for wanting big things for our son. Thank you for discussing how we’ll parent, what we will do and what we won’t do, and being flexible about those things because I’m sure we’ll both be okay with breaking our own rules once he’s here and we’re beyond exhausted.
Thank you for loving me and Jonah so unconditionally. Thank you for not getting mad when I snap at you for no reason (the reason is pregnancy). Thank you for saying I’m beautiful and meaning it and not allowing me to call myself fat.
Thank you for letting me watch sad Disney Pixar movies and sob uncontrollably even though you probably knew it wasn’t a good idea (looking at you, Inside Out).
Thank you for the daddy you already are. You are going to be amazing, even if you don’t know how to swaddle or diaper Jonah. Those things come with practice—but being a good daddy to our son, that is something only you will ever be. I can’t wait to see you two together.
Thank you for everything, David. I love you so much, and I know Jonah will, too.