It was exactly one year ago today. The elder's long journey over the water just concluded, the younger's mere two months' experience in this thing called life, they gathered in my kitchen and eyeballed one another, truly, madly, deeply for the very first time. Dad, that generation who created me and Rukai, that who I created, saying their first 'how do'.
We stood between them and marvelled.
I burned me a big memory that day. Golden and shiny and wrapped up in Dad's 79 years of waiting to say, 'well shut my mouth and call me Gordie Howe, THAT is my grandson'.
How do, little man, how do.
He waited long and long and long for that day. I have loved few days as much. And here, one year on, that day pinches me across the face like an out of town aged aunty with cellulite and blue hair and halitosis.
Hello. Remember me? I was that joyful day. Do not forget me. Never forget me. I have gone and so has he.
One year ago today. And here we are now, three days from the 9th of April. Three days from 'damn, my father has been dead a month.' It is all I can do to just keep breathing.
I am so thankful for my beloved boy, not only because he continues to be magnificent but also because to care properly for him means I do not have time to sit and think too much. It is the thinking that leaves me helpless, that does me in, for it is then that I am unmoving. Left congealing like cold gravy. So I move, and I mommy, and I live, because it is we who are left behind, to find the way back towards our own 80 years.
Less of this pain, though, eh God? I am weary of burning.
Yet losing Dad has also strangely provided the opposite distraction, in that the ongoing saga of incompetent boobs calling themselves medical practitioners and trying to dictate how we will live has just hopped right on over to the back burner for the first time since late 2011.
To that end, perhaps the greater gift is that now I know just how much strength I have. I hauled it up out of the deepest chasm in my very guts, and my palms bled and I screamed in agony and I wept till I was empty. I had to hurt like hell to earn it, but by God, it is within me now and it will never go.
Thank you. Daddy. Angel.
And still here we have new marvels. Fine motor skills improving at pace and now my dear boy is flipping me the bird some 27 times a day. Old Charlie and his Baby TV numbers are not only totally recognizable to him, but Rukai is trying to copy me counting on my fingers every time the song comes on, looking back at my hands, at the TV, at my hands, at my face. Laughing. 'I get it!' he's thinking. 'They go together!'
Yes, those stats did say he would suck at numbers too. Throw me another gauntlet, I may end up enjoying this.
Dad would be so proud.