The surgery is officially scheduled. My dad goes under the knife this Thursday. When he found out about the tumor they told him they wanted to do surgery immediately. Tests had to be run first though. By the time all the tests were done and results were back, the operating rooms had already been booked, so we had to wait an extra week. Waiting to find out whether or not a tumor is malignant or benign is excrutiating. I’ve been trying really hard not to think about it over these past few days, but fear creeps in on me at the oddest times.
My dad and my step-mom came to visit this weekend. It’s the first time they’ve been able to get down for a visit in six weeks. When I first heard about the tumor, I tried to get my dad to come down to spend the day at the zoo with my son and I. He had to work at his second job though, and had tests the next day, so a visit was out. In typical my dad fashion, he’s been teaching fire school every Saturday and Sunday for the last month and a half, so not only could they not come for a visit, but us driving to see them was also pretty much a waste of time.
Not being near him helped push some of the worry to the back of my brain. I had other things to focus on: my son, grading, getting lesson plans written, cooking dinner, Halloween. All were nice distractions.
Their visit made it impossible to forget. Not that we talked about it really. At least not around my dad. When my step-mom and I ran to Target to pick up more baby formula, I asked how my dad was really doing. I knew I wouldn’t get the straight story from him. Upbeat. Really positive. Joking even. All good, I suppose. I started tearing up, thinking about it all. It was nice to talk to someone who understood my pain. Someone else who cried at the thought of losing my dad. Not that my husband isn’t great, but it’s just not the same for him.
When we got home I found my father playing on the floor with my son. My son was laying on top of my dad’s belly trying to grab at his glasses. They were both giggling. From the moment my son was born, my dad has adored him, but until this weekend, I’ve never seen them really play together. I don’t know if it is my son getting older and being easier to play with or my dad realizing how important these moments might be, but he spent every second he could with his grandbaby. My step-mom spent all of her free seconds taking photos and video.
I got in on the shutter snapping as well. I couldn’t help myself. Aside from the fact it was really cute, I found myself thinking, “what if this is all he has to remember his grandpa.” I know, I know, totally morbid and without merit as we know nothing about the dreaded tumor, but I couldn’t help myself. I have no memories of my dad’s father. He died when I was barely over 1. I’m not sure there is a single picture of me with him. He and my dad weren’t getting along too well then.
I’ve never thought too much of the fact that I didn’t know my grandpa. No one in the family ever really talks about him, except in rather abstract ways. It’s not that they didn’t love him. I guess it’s just that he was difficult to live with. Heck, even my grandma hardly ever mentioned him. I guess the reason it’s bothering me so much is that I know my dad. I know what a great guy he is. Sure, he frustrates me at times. Yes, he can be down right embarrasing, but he is so loving and so caring. He’s amazing. I know everything my son will be missing if this tumor turns out to be nefarious. I don’t want him to be deprived of a really amazing grandpa. It’s just not right.
Yes, I know, I’m getting ahead of myself and this negative thinking doesn’t do anyone any good. I can’t help it though. After spending nearly two full days with my dad, I was reminded of just what I could be losing and it was devestating. I was fine while he was here. I held it together like a real little soldier, but after they left, I ran to the grocery store to get some weekly staples and found myself barely able to manage the cart. I couldn’t think of anything except how much I wanted my dad to be ok. I’m sure my eyes were glistening as I stood in line.
When I got home, the baby was still asleep. While I was putting away the groceries, something inside me broke and I broke down. I sobbed in the arms of my husband.
This waiting really is awful.