It seems important at this point to describe the reasons behind why I was gone for 2 years and lived in another state away from my sons: especially since I made it very clear in another post that I love these 2 young men with my entire heart.
In Spring 2005 I got a call from my sister, she told me dad was sick and that he wasn’t going to let anyone know that he had cancer, not even me. He didn’t want people to feel sorry for him, navigating sad emotions was definitely not his strength. So I made a trip to see him.
At that time he was going to radiation treatments and it didn’t take long to understand that this was near the end of his life.
I wanted my sons to at least see their grandfather before he passed. I called my then ex-husband and explained the situation, he agreed to bring them. They spent a couple of days with grandpa and back home they went.
They hospitalized dad and he went home A.M.A. He had laid down for bed early that evening and I went in to say good night but he was already asleep. So I very quietly and gently kissed his forehead, and said, “good night, I love you dad”, turned and took a couple of steps. I heard him move and looked back. He had raised himself up a bit and he smiled at me and said, “I love you hun.”
(Now that friends is a big deal. Big deal. He didn’t say I love you very often. When I was growing up, I always kissed dad on his cheek, and said, “good night I love you.” To which he kind of said night, or grunted something. And smile? Especially AT me?? Um, not really.)
It’s bittersweet, and I am deeply grateful for that exchange.
Little did I know that would be the last time he would ever say those words.