A while ago I had to tell Chloe that our dog had probably died (she was expecting that news sometime this year), but the next day I was able to tell her false alarm, CC came home in the morning (we still have no idea where she was or how she got there).
Today, however, I won’t be able to call her and tell her Good news! Ike didn’t die yesterday, after all.
Our kids got shortchanged in the grandparent department because three out of four of them (the grandparents) died young, so Ike was the only grandfather figure Chloe had ever known on her father’s side. She knew this was coming, but it’s still not an easy thing to say. When this happens, families pull together, make plans, support each other, reminisce about good times. But, more importantly, when a loved one dies we find out how many truly caring, decent people there are in our lives. It’s not fun and we’d prefer a happier reason to come together, but it’s a valuable time nonetheless. A time when we learn more about each other’s – and our own – strengths and weaknesses and how we complement each other when we work together. It’s a part of growing up and Chloe won’t be a part of it this time.
Tonight I was looking at a picture of her and Ike, Chloe holding the framed Presidential Award for Academic Excellence that she collected at her sixth-grade tea. They are both proud, and they are both happy. She won't be able to come home and show Ike her pictures or tell him what she learned about the world, so this picture will have to do.