A year ago today, we were waiting at the bedside of my Papa, Dale. We knew he was going to be leaving our world very soon but we didn't know exactly when. A week? Two weeks? Three days? All we had to go by were vague physical signposts and the stuff they said in the hospice book. At the time I remember being bothered by the odd, sad, unsettling similarity to waiting for a new baby.
I couldn't have planned it this way if I'd tried, but I'm 39 weeks pregnant today, and a baby is coming, though we don't know exactly when. As I wait and smile over these last exciting days wondering if it will be two weeks or three days, I can't stop myself from reliving last August.
It was August 10th, a year ago yesterday, that Papa asked to hold Alice. He could only sort-of whisper and he was totally paralyzed and weighed less than 100 pounds, but he made it clear that he wanted to hold Alice. We put her on his lap and put his hands on her fat thighs so he could feel her chub. He sat there and teared up and kind of smiled. We stood around him holding our breath and holding his arms, holding her up, and smiling at the two of them. It was the single most heartbreaking moment of my life, so far. He died two days later.
I want to write, I want to socialize, I want to be part of the world, but I am totally in my own little place and I can't help it. I'm happy and introspective and busying myself around the house. I'm alternately full of energy and totally exhausted and I can't believe it, but we are to the part where we wait.
We are waiting.
We are going to have a baby, very very soon.
And his middle name will be Dale.