Friday night I had written my ndad on Facebook and in the course of us "talking", he asked me for my phone number again because he'd misplaced it. No big deal, I wrote it and pressed send. Not two minutes later, I got a response.
"Great, thanks! I'm off to bed since I have to get up at 3:45am but I'll call you tomorrow night around 7:30...love you Dollface..."My heart stopped. Did he just say he was going to call??? Me??? Holy crap.
And so, at 7pm last night I went for a drive and tried to calm myself down. Drove around town...freaking out. Watched the clock on my car's radio obsessively...counting down the minutes. And then...7:30 came.
I drove around for another fifteen minutes and headed home. Got things ready to color Easter eggs with Steven and the kids and then at 8:15 just as I was pouring the vinegar into the egg cups my phone rang.
It was my father's wife. Apparently my dad had had to work at the prison and there had been an escape so because he's on the Emergency Response Team, he'd had to work late. He'd been frantic when he realized he wasn't going to be able to call me on time and had asked her to call me to tell me that he hadn't forgotten and that he was on his way home soon. We chatted for a few minutes and hung up.
We colored our eggs and just as I'd finished my last one, the phone rang again.
The call was a bit awkward...neither of us really knew exactly what to say but it was enough for me to finally hear his voice. And at the end of our twenty minute conversation, I heard the words that both lifted my spirit and broke my heart...
"I love you sweetheart..."
Steven couldn't wait to hear all about it and I told him what had been said. And I said, "You know, it's like I finally have a father after 36 years...amazing."
Unfortunately, the horrible news now.
Yesterday my nsister came out to visit for a few hours before she headed off to an 80's party with her friends. We had a bit of bonding time since I had to go to the store to "help" the Easter Bunny out and dragged her along. As I drove to the store, she turned down my radio and said, "I have to drop a bombshell on you now...Mom was going to email you last night but I told her I'd talk to you today since you should hear this face to face from one of us. Grandpa's only got three to six months to live...his heart is giving out."
I put on a brave face and we talked about driving down to Delaware to see him before he gets much weaker..but truthfully, I wanted to just pull over and cry. I barely know my grandfather...and now, my time is limited.
I met him for the first time back in March of 2009 when I traveled down to his 80th surprise birthday party with my nmother, n-uncle and sister and met the rest of my relatives too. I remember walking into the restaurant that first night of the trip..watching my mother lean in and whisper to him that she'd brought Christina. His face lit up and he searched the family for my face. I stepped forward and gave him a hug...he hugged me back and said, "You're so beautiful...I'm so glad you're here".
It hurts that I'll have to say goodbye before I've really had a chance to say hello.