“Don’t get me wrong, Gayle and I were always really close too. But there was nothing in this world like her Daddy.”
Kat squeezed her Grandmother’s hand comfortingly. Em’s voice was shaking again.
“Sometimes I think that’s why she rejected her gifts in the beginning. If Daddy couldn’t do this stuff, it wasn’t worth doing.”
That elicited a small laugh from both women. “Em, are you trying to say my mother was stubborn? No way, that doesn’t sound like her at all.” The sarcastic joke made them both laugh for real this time, lightening the mood considerably.
They lay in silence for a few minutes, both steeling themselves in different ways for what was to come. The stars twinkled above, the breeze was warm and felt almost like an embrace. If not for the painful conversation they were navigating, the night would have been as close to perfect as this world gets.
“I think the real trouble started when he got sick.”
Em had to pause again, as tears filled her eyes. No matter how many years passed, losing Ian still hurt just as much. Theirs had been the kind of love you find once, if you’re very lucky. She could only hope that Kat, her beloved granddaughter, would find her Ian someday.
“Stop stalling!”, she thought to herself harshly. “You’re just trying to distract yourself from answering Kat’s question.”
“Seeing such a strong man brought so low…there are no words. Gayle was convinced one of us should be able to do something, anything. She couldn’t wrap her mind around the fact that neither of us even saw it coming. And once we knew he wasn’t going to get better, well…”
…to be continued