My dad was admitted to hospice on Saturday, and I'm not sure how much longer he'll be with us. The girls know that Grandpa will be leaving us, and Zoe says that gives her two things to be sad about -- Grandpa and her birth parents.
Most of my sadness is about what the girls are losing. I've had a wonderful 49 years with my Daddy, and there isn't anything I regret, nothing unsaid or undone. I have 49 years worth of memories. I've been especially fortunate to watch and marvel at how he is as a grandpa to my girls. I would never have expected him to sit there and let them wrap him in a pink feather boa, put a crown on his bald head, and play tea party, but he did -- and I have the pictures to prove it! If I had done the things my girls get away with when I was a child, I'm not sure I would have survived to adulthood. But Zoe and Maya can do no wrong in his eyes. He went from a little leery about this whole adoption thing to unconditional love for my girls. I hope they will remember this.
And sitting here I'm reminded that I have something my girls don't have -- I have a mirror. My dad is my mirror. I look just like him. We have some personality things in common, too, but it's the physical resemblance that's most clear. We have the same blue eyes. We both went gray prematurely (gee, thanks, DNA!). We have the same body type (heaven help me!). My mom tells the story of taking me out in the stroller as a baby, and a woman going on and on about how beautiful I was, and then looking at my mom and saying, "She must look like her father." A back-handed insult to my mom (!) but the lady spoke the truth, something I grew up knowing -- I look like my father. I'm sad that my girls don't have that mirror, that knowledge of who it is they look just like. And I'm sad that I won't be able to look in that mirror for long. Still, I've had that mirror for a long time.
Time to change the CD. Or maybe we'll listen to Patsy Cline one more time. . . .
Tonight alone I'm thinkin'
Of the things we used to do
There's laughter all around me
But my heart still aches for you