The Lies We Tell Ourselves

I told myself, in the months and years since Mark died, that Nicholas would have some sort of memory of him. That Nicholas would have some sort of primal, basic, foundational memory of his Daddy Mark.

Nicholas was 6 weeks old when I went back to work and Mark started taking care of him full-time during the day. Nicholas was about 10 weeks old when Mark got sick and went into the hospital. Nicholas was 4 months old when Mark went into the coma that he would never come out of. Nicholas was 5 months old when Mark died.

I told myself that the time in my belly, the weeks that Nicholas and Mark had before Mark died, and all of the hours and hours of the baby and me at the hospital would make an imprint on Nicholas. It helped me feel better to think that somehow, Nicholas would still know his father in the most basic way. Now, I think I was lying to myself.

My new baby is 3 months old, and I can admit to myself that if I died today, he wouldn’t remember me or know me. Hell, Nicholas is 5 years old now, and I don’t know if he would have any real memories of me if I died today.

Nicholas has stories and pictures about Daddy Mark, but if I’m honest with myself, I know he doesn’t have actual memories. It’s up to me to keep the stories alive for Nicholas, but I am no longer telling myself that they are memories.

What do you think? Do you think there’s a chance that Nicholas has some kind of primal memory of Mark? Do you think that a bond can be that strong?