It's been a while, hasn't it?
Here's the thing. I've been busy with work, have had a lot on my mind and have been a wee bit stressed out lately. (But don't go feeling sorry for me... I'm okay, really I am. It's my hubster I'm worried about).
So Andrew's Dad has cancer. It started two years ago, in his kidney.
Unfortunately, it's been spreading. And some of the medications haven't been working. Fast forward to today, and he's in the hospital, not doing well.
It's now in his brain.
Andrew, Anna and I went to visit him in the hospital on Father's Day. It was the first time I'd seen him since he started going downhill rapidly. He really didn't look the father-in-law I know. His face and legs were really skinny. His body was swollen. I was a bit taken aback at first.
But when he looked at Anna - I saw him. I saw Peter again.
His face just transformed. His eyes lit up. He smiled broadly. And he spoke to her in his Grandpa voice, she knows and loves.
He got tired, and asked us if we would mind cutting the visit short. Before we left, I brought Anna up close to him. She wanted to stay in my arms... but we stood right next to him to say our goodbyes.
Peter looked up, his eyes focused on her face, and said to me, "Thank you, Heather. For Anna."
And then he said something that made me overwhelmingly sad... but also content at the same time. He said "I'll be there at Christmas. You may not be able to see me. But I'll be there."
I broke down as I nodded at him. Tears stopped me from saying what I really wanted to say.
I wanted him to know that I knew he'd be there.... That he'd always be with us. Because we won't let Anna grow up not knowing who her Grandpa was. She'll know how he loved pirate stories - Treasure Island, in particular. She'll know that he told corny jokes. She'll know that he was a teacher at one point in his career. She'll know that he was one of those guys that everyone loved because he was so kind and funny and thoughtful. She'll know he was an amazing Dad to her Daddy. And that he always made her Mommy feel special.
But most of all, she'll know that his face lit up whenever she entered the room. She'll know he adored her. She'll know that according to him, she was just the most amazing little girl ever.
I couldn't say it, but I hope he felt it when I squeezed his hand gently.
I hope he knows.