I had slept a grand total of 25 minutes all night. Maybe not even that. Logan was just 2 years old, but even in a bleary-eyed, early-morning haze, he could sense that something was wrong. I had the Sunday edition of The Plain Dealer in my hand, I was in the kitchen, it was like any other weekend morning.
Except it wasn’t. Nothing was normal. Nothing could be normal again — at least, not in that moment. Not coming from where I just came. Not going where I was about to go.
But Logan couldn’t grasp it yet. He shouldn’t have to suffer like I was suffering. But I can’t prevent it. He’s going to have to know. But I tried one last time to be the gatekeeper.
“Nothing buddy. We’re OK.”
Logan saw the newspaper I was holding, and his mind immediately shifted gears, at least for a few minutes. So did mine.
“Daddy, let’s snip, snip together.”
As a child, I often clipped coupons with my father, who was always trying to save a few dollars at the store. It became one of the most enduring memories of my childhood. I continue to clip coupons to this day, now with Logan at my side. As a toddler, he called it “snip, snip.” I needed to hear those words, in that moment. But Logan’s attention soon turned back toward the eerie quiet in the house. Just me, him and way too much silence.
“Where’s Mommy?” he asked.
The respite was over. My heart sank. I started crying, again. As I looked for the words, he got off his chair and came over and sat on my lap.
“It’s OK, Daddy,” he said, as he patted my head.
Fighting back tears and with a crackling voice, I said the words I knew he was going to have to hear. The words I knew I was going to have to say.
“Logan, your sister died last night. Mom is still at the hospital.”
What could I say? Right then, I was a small child, too. I had no answers, only questions.
“I don’t know. Something bad happened and she died.”
“So that means I’m not going to have a sister?”
“Yes, buddy. I’m sorry.”