The past couple of weeks have been difficult. My husband’s stepdad, who was like a father to him, passed away. He had some health problems last November, but we thought he was in the clear for a while after having a pacemaker put in. Some scans in late February revealed that he had cancer, though. Pancreatic, lung, and colon.
He started chemo around the time everything started shutting down, and it took such an awful toll on his body. What happened over the past week is a very long story, but ultimately he had a mild stroke, pneumonia, and went into septic shock late last week. His doctor at first said she thought he had three months to live, but then his kidneys started shutting down, and that three months went to three weeks, a few days, and then a few hours very quickly. My MIL called my husband to come to the hospital in the middle of the night early Wednesday morning when the doctor said he only had a few hours left.
My father-in-law was a good man. He wasn’t a man of many words, but he was quick to laugh and had a lot of love in his heart. He was closer to my kids than any other grandparent, and whenever they were in the room, it was like hardly anyone else existed. It breaks my heart that they won’t get to grow up with him the way I did my grandmother. He was so good to my husband, too. My FIL truly truly treated him and his brothers like they were his own children, which meant the world to them as their bio father has never had any interest.
I was the one to break the news to the kids. They knew he was sick and doing very poorly. They hadn’t seen him since early March due to the coronavirus and social distancing, which I hate. (Although going around him while a) BG was sick and b) he was doing chemo wouldn’t have happened , either.) LM understands more than BG and was sad, but rationalized it by saying at least his grandfather wasn’t suffering, plus made some comment about the circle of life. BG didn’t really react at first and said hopefully her grandfather got better in heaven and was back in time for her birthday. It didn’t really sink in for her until last night when we talked about the funeral, and she hid under a blanket whimpering for a while.
His funeral was today. It was short and sweet, just the way he would’ve liked it.
It never strikes you that the last time you do something could be the last time. The last time you go on vacation together, the last time you have dinner together. In the case of the kids, the last time you spend the night and play games. In BG’s case, the last time you get to sleep with both grandparents while staying over. I’m glad their last weekend together was a good one. My husband and I were on a cruise in mid-February before FIL was diagnosed, and they stayed with my in-laws. They had a great time together and went to the movies to see Sonic and got ice cream. My in-laws didn’t usually take the kids places, but wanted to do something special that weekend. BG talked about going with her grandfather to see that movie for days after we got back. What a great memory for them to have.