I still ache for my dad. There's no "but." There's no, "but having Chas makes my dad's absence more bearable," because it doesn't. He is a new piece of my heart; he'll never be replaced, but in turn, cannot replace. My dad should be here for this. He should be here to hold him, wide-eyed and tearful, looking into that sweet new face and promising Chas, and the rest of us, a beautiful, peaceful, perfect future.
I want so badly for the one life to make the pain of the lost one less. I want so badly for Chas's birth to be so profound and so life-altering, that losing my dad is a shadow of a stabbing memory. But it's not. Perhaps I'm let down by that.
I still thank God relentlessly. For both one and the other, in the same breath, and without pause. I thank God for the 24 years with one, and the 24 hours with the other. I thank God for a beating, feeling heart, that I may feel so acutely the pain of the loss of the one, because without this intense pain, I don't believe I would be able to feel this intense joy, however separate. I thank God that he made me so capable of love.