By Denny Ceizyk
I thought this Father’s Day would be different. The joy of watching our beta tests double every week (I nicknamed the baby “Dublin” since our RE seemed so amazed that the levels continued to go up despite how low they had started) had brought Lisa and me closer to parenthood than at anytime in the last 4 years of infertility cycles. But then a sudden night of unexplained bleeding, and Lisa is still miscarrying what remains of Dublin. It is only two days before what would have been my first Father’s Day as a dad-to-be.
I have been afraid of so many stupid, petty unimportant things in my life. I worry that Dublin’s soul just saw a daddy focused mainly on making money, paying the bills on time, putting away enough in savings for retirement and emergencies. And a daddy terrified of the things that he’d always dreamed of doing.
I made my first trip to Nashville five years ago. I vowed I’d perform on the Bluebird Café stage someday. I know it is a long shot. The Bluebird is the Mecca of Nashville’s songwriting community, and you have to show you know the craft of songwriting to make the cut. But more than that, you have to have felt pain. You have to have had your heart ripped out, stomped on the ground, kicked across the street… and you have the courage to pick up the filthy beaten organ and stick it back in your chest, and keep it beating. My heart is still beating. Before it stops, I want to pay tribute to Dublin.
After about a month of bleeding calluses and hours of practicing I am starting to sound half decent. I want to write something for Dublin.
“So far, so good” pops into my head. I remember the way Lisa blushed when I told her how good she smelled, and asked her what perfume she was wearing.
“Beautiful” is what she had uttered from her sensuous lips.
“Fitting.” A cool, debonair guy that I had never been suddenly revealed himself that day.
Then there was the first kiss to the “shush-shush-shush” of the Chariots of Fire soundtrack playing in the cassette deck of my 1976 Toyota Corolla. We’d spent the day brushing hands, in the mountain air near a cabin my parents had clearly indicated was off limits for my brother and me to bring women to.
I wondered the whole time, if she could feel the kiss coming on.
But Lisa and I both had recent heartache stories, and though the kiss was like nothing I’d ever experienced before, we kept things casual. Two hearts might be striking up a flame, but for now we could say, ‘so far, so good.’
The second verse comes at me differently. Lisa is freezing cold on a bench on February first. I had wanted to avoid the cliché of a Valentines Day proposal, so on one of the coldest nights near a port on Long Island’s Port Washington I decided we should take a walk down by the water. I began to tell her how much I loved her and wanted to spend my life with her, when she coyly smiled. “Aren’t you going to get down on your knee?”
I laughed and put my knee down on the freezing cold cement. As I finished my proposal, we kissed, hugged and raced up the hill to get to the warmth of our apartment.
A vision of Lisa dressed in white on our wedding day inspires the next line, and how I had never seen such a beautiful sight.
Ok, good. But something is still missing. The future. I see Lisa on a rocking chair on a wraparound porch, closing her eyes as the wind gently tousles her hair. She brushes her hand through some gray that is starting to streak my hair. We sit down and look back at all the memories we’ve had after fifty married years, but what do we see?
Dublin is daring me to write the words. Have faith that he’s in our future no matter how impossible it looks right now…I start writing the bridge:
Looking back at fifty years…
The kids, the fears, the smiles the tears
Romantic nights and big old fights
They both are so amazed and how it is they came
So far, so good….
I can feel something in the center of me filling up. Dublin is resting on my chest, cooing, and cracking up. Smiling as he hears his daddy finish the song he inspired.
Father’s Day two years later, I am looking at pictures of our most recent trip to Nashville. Dublin’s tribute song, So Far, So Good, paved the way for a return invitation to the stage of the Bluebird Café. I think back to how Dublin moved through my soul, and into my core with the song he put in me. I nurtured it note by note, lyric by lyric until I felt the miracle of creation.
I look at the pictures of Lisa, and can’t stifle the tears that come to my eyes. Growing inside of her at last is our miracle of creation -- a little girl who is due on Lisa’s birthday.
And next to those pictures, is my very first Father’s Day card.
Denny Ceizyk is an author and ardent advocate of family building rights. He lives in Tucson, Arizona with his wife of twenty years, Lisa, and their formerly “poor quality embryo,” eight-year-old Elliana Faith. His musings on the pursuit of parenthood through infertility have been featured in the Arizona Daily Star, The Tucson Citizen, Counseling Today Online, and he has appeared on several radio programs as well as The CBS Early Show with Gretchen Carlson, where he provided a male viewpoint of the challenges he and Lisa faced during their stormy six-year journey to medically assisted parenthood. Denny plans to expand the reach of his infertility support efforts with the pending publication of his book, Almost a Father. You can read more about him or contact him on his blog www.almostafather.com.